Have pets? Here’s what you’ll need to do when you’re selling your home


When you make the decision to sell your home, there will be a lot of things that require your attention in order to put your home’s best foot forward to attract sellers. Hiring the right agent; pricing it correctly; marketing the home; staging.

Add one to the list if you’re a pet owner. If there is evidence in your home that you own a dog or cat, it can affect potential home buyers in a negative way. It can mean the difference between getting the right price and getting bids at all.

If you own a pet, there will be visual evidence as well as an odor. Believe it or not, how your home smells can affect potential buyers in a real and dramatic way.

Tips to help sell your home when you have pets:

Relocate your pets

Although you don’t want to kennel your pet for a long period of time, relocating your pet while your home is on the market may be the best option. Ask a friend or relative to take them in while you’re trying to sell. You might want to speak with your veterinarian about what is appropriate.

Get rid of the hair

Vacuuming doesn’t always work. You may have to attack the carpeting with lint rollers. In addition to the carpets, you’ll have to remove hair from furniture, drapes, vents and near the feet of furniture.

Find trouble spots on your carpet

You can buy a small black light that can identify trouble spots on your carpet. Mark any place that shows up under ultraviolet light and use enzymatic cleaners to remove the odor and stain.

Don’t forget hardwoods and tile

Hard surfaces can absorb pet odors; and the cracks between tile and slats can be hiding places as well.

Cleaning the walls

If you’ve had your pet for a long time, they can spray or rub against walls enough to leave discolored spots. The oils in their coats can discolor the wall and leave an odor. Some will just wipe away, but in some cases, you may need to repaint.

Clear the air

Rather than burning a bunch of candles, which is a good sign that you’re hiding something, replace your furnace filters and dab them with essential oils to pump clean, attractive scents throughout your entire home.

Don’t forget the yard

In addition to the most obvious evidence, you’ll also need to give attention to patches and dead spots in the yard.

On the day of a showing

If you don’t relocate them when you have a showing scheduled, don’t leave pets at home. If your pet is hyperactive around people, that’s definitely a negative, especially if the potential buyers don’t like animals. Remove litter boxes and vacuum up every bit of litter. Put pet food, bowls, cat condos, scratching posts and pet toys where they are less likely to be seen.

Your real estate agent will advise you on how to best de-pet your home prior to selling it. It will take a little work on your part, and you may have to hire a professional cleaner in order to remove evidence of your pet, but when it means the difference between getting no offers and getting the right price for your home, it’s time and money well spent.

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