Selling Your Home With Pets
The thought of selling your home with pets may be concerning. While homeowners love their pets—not all homebuyers are pet lovers. These tips from Realtor Sam Wilson for selling a home with pets will give you the confidence to stage and showcase your house to sell.
In This Real Estate Blog Post, You’ll Learn
- Why pets turn off some home buyers
- Tips for showing your house with pets
- What to do with pets when selling a home
- The importance of honest feedback to get the most money for your home
Why Pets Turn Off Some Home Buyers
Some pet lovers can’t imagine why other people may not fall in love with a dog, cat, bird, lizard, fish, or another member of the family. If we’re honest, some people love their pets more than their family members or friends. A person’s relationship with pets often begins in childhood.
If you are a pet lover, did you have pets growing up in your family home? What behavior did your parents model about the responsibility of having a pet? Were your pets well-mannered and trained?
Was your dog an indoor dog or an outdoor dog? If you had a cat, did the cat have full run of the house, or did the cat stay in a bedroom or a particular area of the home? If you had a bird, lizard, hamster, rabbit, or another small animal, what was your responsibility in taking care of this pet?
If you didn’t have a pet, did you ever have an experience where you were frightened by a dog running toward you? Did a cat, bird, or hamster accidentally bite you? Do you have dog or cat allergies? Dog or cat allergies affect about 10-20% of people.
These and many other circumstances result in how people feel about having a pet. When preparing a home for sale, a recommendation is to depersonalize the house.
Depersonalization refers to family photos. Minimizing the presence of pets in a household is another depersonalization technique.
Tips for Showing Your House with Pets
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While some pet owners feel that they shouldn’t have to go out of their way to accommodate a home buyer who doesn’t like pets—as a home seller you don’t want to turn off a qualified buyer. The presence of pets or the suspicion of pet damage may result in a buyer asking for financial concessions or requesting pet-related repairs.
Home sellers want to sell their homes fast and for the most money. If you are selling a house with pets, considering these tips will help accomplish this goal.
1 Remove Signs of Pets in the Home
First impressions are critical. Does your home smell like pets? Are there visual signs of pets living in a home?
If your Realtor offers staging advice or has a home staging program to showcase your home, take advantage of this service. Be open-minded to these suggestions about staging a home for sale with pets and other advice offered to prepare your house for sale.
- Put away food and water bowls, pet toys, pet beds, leashes, and other pet-related items
- Vacuum and sweep to remove signs of pet hair or dander
- Put away litter boxes and pet cages if possible
- Make sure that home photos and videos don’t publicize the presence of pets
- Hide photos of pets
- Deep clean your home
2 Repair Pet Damage and Pet Odors
Have your pets damaged wood floors or clawed areas of the carpet with their nails? Are there chew marks on furniture? Are carpets spotted with pet stains? If floors and carpets are damaged, talk with your Realtor about offering a flooring credit.
Is there an odor emanating from litter boxes, carpets, or furniture where pets have been permitted to sit? Have your home professionally cleaned and deodorized. If you can’t remove pet cages or fish tanks, make sure they are squeaky clean and odor-free.
Hiding pet odors by using room deodorizers may be a tell-tale sign that a home owner is trying to hide odors. Some home buyers may be sensitive or allergic to the scents of room deodorizers, strong cleaners, or pets.
3 How Does Your Yard Show?
If you have dogs or outside pets like chickens or rabbits, is your yard showing show signs of pet damage? Scoop the poop from your yard. Clean animal cages.
Repair areas of your lawn or yard that have worn areas due to pets running back and forth or urinating. If you have a dog pen, make sure that the wood or fencing is in order—replace boards and make necessary repairs.
What to Do with Pets When Selling Your Home
In a perfect world, removing pets for home showings is best. Do you have parents, friends, or a neighbor who can pet sit during showings? Are you able to take your pets for a walk or a drive?
Either way, it may be a good idea to talk to your Realtor about scheduling showing hours when you can take the pets out of the home or take them with you during a showing. While most dogs enjoy going for a walk or a ride, cats, birds, rabbits, lizards, or hamsters may be more challenging to take out of the home. In this case, a family member, friend, or temporary boarding may be the best option.
The Importance of Honest Feedback
If you’re wondering if the steps you took for selling your home with pets were successful, invite a friend or neighbor to your house. Ask them to be brutally honest about signs of pets, odors, or other things they notice that might turn a potential buyer away.
Ask your realtor for more feedback. While many realtors may be sensitive about upsetting a client, a realtor who is honest about pet odors and other concerns is the realtor you want. One important role of a knowledgeable realtor is to educate home sellers and home buyers.
The time you take to prepare in advance of selling a home with pets will pay off financially and speed the time it takes to sell your home.
Interested in more real estate tips? Check out Sam Wilson’s real estate tips page.
You can also search for homes in the Denver Metro area on our home search page.
© 2020 Sam Wilson All Rights Reserved. All Articles by Pamela D. Wilson MS, BS/BA