When the Wag Isn’t a Friendly Welcome: How to Sell a House with Pets

When the Wag Isn’t a Friendly Welcome: How to Sell a House with Pets

Many homeowners make a house a home, not just for themselves but for their furry friends as well. Millions of households all across the nation have dogs, cats, fish, and other animals — and for good reason. Pets bring personality and endless joy to households across the country, and many consider their furry friends important additions to the family. 

About 60% of those currently selling in the housing market are pet owners, nearly 50% of them being dog owners. However, as much joy and companionship as pets bring us, selling your home with pets can be a difficult process. Traces of animals in your property — like damage caused by your dogs or pet hair lining the carpets — can turn away interested buyers.

Removing the animal from the property for an extended period of time certainly isn’t a solution for everyone, and most families don’t want to be separated by their pets anyway. The good news? It’s entirely possible however to sell your home even whilst taking care of an energetic pup. Keep reading for some expert advice from real estate agents and pet experts! 

Remove all signs of pets from your property

In addition to decluttering and cleaning before you hold an open house, be sure to hide or remove evidence of your pets, as well as personal pictures and items. This allows interested buyers to imagine your home as their future home. 

When posting photos of your home, be sure that there aren’t pet belongings or half-chewed bones in the background. Before showings, get rid of litter boxes, leashes, toys, crates, food and water bowls.

Changing environments and routine can be stressful for your animals. Every pet reacts differently to moving, but if your animal seems anxious or stressed, consider speaking to your vet about how to help your pet through the transition. 

Can’t arrange accommodations for your pet before your showing?

Sometimes we don’t have enough time to find accommodations or plans fall through. If you have no option other than to have your pet home during an open house, make sure they are in a crate or kennel with a note asking viewers to leave the pet alone. 

Any top-notch real estate agent will be accustomed to dealing with household animals, but be sure to leave treats or toys for your agents to use. Don’t ever hide your pet, as viewers will peer behind doors and closets when they visit. 

When it doubt, always remember to deep clean and freshen up your property

Depending on your pet, some animals can give off odors that homeowners become accustomed to. It’s important that when all pet things are removed to deodorize your space to eliminate unpleasant odors.

Avoid using perfumed or scented products, and consider an enzyme cleaner or a pet-specific deodorant spray to neutralize smells. Steam clean your furniture and wash everything, from pillow covers to comforters. Replace the filters in your HVAC system and consider using air purifiers. 

If you still aren’t sure about how your house smells after a deep clean, invite a friend over for an honest opinion before a showing.

Repair pet damage

Potential buyers look closely at homes when viewing, and scratches and stains can give the impression that the home isn’t well taken care of. Before a showing, look at your home from top to bottom to identify problem areas. You can attempt to hide the problem during the showing by getting clever with decorations, but the smartest method is to simply fix the problem from the get-go. Hiding damage to your property isn’t recommended, and sellers could face legal issues down the line by misleading buyers. 

Scratches on door frames can be fixed with putty and paint. Walnut oil can dull claw marks on wood floors and wooden furniture. Get rid of any pet waste in your yards and consider replacing torn window screens or damaged fencing before scheduling an open house. If your dog is a digger, try filling in the holes in your yard and regrowing the grass. 

When in doubt, remember your real estate agent is your ally during these times and should offer you the best advice in order to sell favo

rably in today’s market, so contact them with any pressing questions!

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