An incredible 66.9 percent of all households in the country own dogs and cats. Of those, 36.5 percent are home to dogs, while 30.4 percent are home to cats. That’s a combined total of 79,463,000, or 43,346,000 dogs and 36,117,000 cats, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It’s little wonder why these furry family members are a big factor when it comes to selling and buying residential real estate. These four-legged friends are good for health, mood, and companionship, which makes them far more than just ordinary animals.
However, no matter how cute and cuddly your pets are, they will present a problem if you’re going to sell your home. Even for potential buyers who are true animal lovers, homes with pets will present some level of discomfort or at the very least, a little hesitation. The reasons why aren’t hard to conjure or comprehend because we all know what pets are capable of doing to a home.
Tips for Selling a Home with Pets
Selling a home is a big undertaking that requires a lot of smart marketing. You’ve no doubt heard the advice about decluttering, depersonalizing, and upping curb appeal, which are completely necessary. These make a property more presentable, welcoming, and alluring to buyers. All of these good things can quickly be muted by the presence of pets. What’s more, your furry family members don’t even have to be present for this to be the case.
“Pets are common members of many households, but when it comes to putting a home on the market, their existence should be undetectable, experts say. Not everyone will love your pet the way you do, and you don’t want to turn off potential buyers or lower the home’s perceived value with furry family members.” —Fox Business
There are plenty of telltale signs which alert buyers to the fact you have pets. Some are more subtle than others, like that hook right near the back door or on the rear of the back door that holds a leash. The dual circle stains on the tile in the laundry room where the water and food bowls usually reside are another. There are plenty more signs, so when you are selling a home with pets, follow these helpful tips:
- Deep clean the entire home. When selling a home, this is always good advice but goes double for home sellers with pets. You’ve no doubt noticed the “hair everywhere” phenomenon and so will anyone that tours your property. Try to rid every room of all hair as much as possible. While you won’t be 100 percent successful, you’ll probably get by with people who aren’t allergic. Smell has a very powerful effect on our perception, so, any odors must be dealt with well in advance of any showings.
- Pay close attention to the yards. Dogs are notorious for engaging in the primordial behavior of digging. Even if your pooch doesn’t dig holes, he or she does use the yard to go potty and that waste is a definite confirmation you have pets.
- Remove all signs of pets. When you start the process of getting rid of all signs of your four-legged friend, you’ll likely be amazed by how much there is: bowls, leashes, collars, beds, toys, and more. This is also a great time to start purging all those things which have long out-lived their use.
- Relocate your pets temporarily. If you are able to have your pets stay with family or friends while you’re selling your home, definitely take advantage. However, if that’s not the case, or, you simply can’t bear being without them, at least have a dedicated place for them to stay during planned showings and open houses. This is not only for making a good presentation, but also, for you because there are 4.7 million dog bite cases in the country every year — you simply don’t want to chance being liable.