Selling a home is stressful enough for home owners, but selling a home with pets can be even more stressful. In addition to the usual concerns home owners have, clients with pets also have to consider if they should move their animals out while the home is for sale, how much it will cost to repair any pet-related damage and if pet odor will deter potential buyers.
Unfortunately for pet owners, the truth is that pets can turn away potential buyers and even lower the perceived value of their home if they are not addressed prior to listing. When properly prepared, homes with pets can be cleaned and staged in a way that makes the existence of their pets almost undetectable. The following are four tips for selling your home with pets.
1. Eliminate Pet Odor
Although you might have gone ‘nose blind’, pet odors can deter potential buyers. Our sense of smell has a powerful effect on our emotions and on our perception. The scent of pet odor in a house is sure to be remembered by a potential buyer, and this can cause them to deduct the cost of carpet replacement from their offer. Even worse, if a buyer walks in the home and smells a dirty cat litter box or soiled carpet, they might not even proceed with the tour. To eliminate pet odor and keep potential buyers moving through your home, consider the following:
- If not replacing carpet, have it professionally steam cleaned. Don’t forget to also clean upholstered furniture and area rugs. Any surface that holds pet odor should be cleaned, replaced, or removed.
- Weather permitting, open windows for a few days leading up to showings to help air out your home.
- Be caution when using air fresheners. You don’t want buyers to be hit with the smell of artificial flowers that scream you are hiding an odor. Some fresh flowers can not only help with fragrance, but also add to the home staging. Also, consider air neutralizers and odor absorbing products. Rather than masking the smell, these items actually absorb odor and neutralize the air.
- Consider placing an air purifier in the pet’s main living area to filter the air.
- Replace air filters that might have trapped pet dander and odor.
2. Repair Pet-Related Damage to Home and Yard
As much as we love our pets, the truth is, they cause extra wear and tear on a home, especially in the yard. Assess your home and consider repairing as much of the pet damage as possible before showing. Some areas to look at include:
- Over-seed the yard or patch lawn areas to repair brown spots.
- Fill in holes created by canine gardeners. Not only are they unsightly, they can potentially be dangerous if someone were to trip in it.
- If doors and/or window screens have been damaged and scratched, replace them.
- Clean pet hair from hard-to-reach places such as behind appliances and behind doors.
- If wood or laminate flooring is scratched beyond repair, consider repairing the floor. This might be a large investment up front, but it can yield great results when your home goes under contract.
3. Consider that potential buyers might be afraid of animals and vice versa.
It is important to be educated about pet liability and discuss having your pets temporarily (either during the entire sale process, or just on days when there are showings, open houses, and inspections) relocated if possible. If you do not have relocation option, discuss crating your animals during showings, open houses and inspections. For pets that are not already crate trained, it can take time for them to enjoy being in the crate. You can create positive associations with the crate by giving your pet a treat-filled toy or bone to keep them busy while in the crate. This is not only essential for the safety of potential buyers, but is also protects your pet from getting out of the house, getting hurt, or causing unintentional harm to others.
4. Animals can experience anxiety from having a lot of strange foot traffic in their home.
Potential buyers might be distracted by a stressed pet or nervous barking. Talk to your veterinarian to get a product recommendation to help your pet cope with this stressful time. National pet stores sell items such as plugins that release stress calming pheromones. The plugins do not emit any scent and can last up to three months. The pheromones released are only detected by the animals and will not affect humans.
Above all, when selling a home with pets, remember that they are part of your family. They sense your stress with the moving process, and feel much the same. They may require more attention, and sometimes begin unwanted behaviors (such as chewing) if they do not have a constructive outlet (like a chew toy).
Team Anderson Realty, located at 209 Alford Street Holly Springs, NC 27540, specializes in Wake County real estate. If you or someone you know is looking to buy a home, start your free home search today! Or call a Top Holly Springs Realtor at 919-610-5126 if you are thinking about selling your home to learn about our marketing plan that will get your home SOLD!