When we have pets, they quickly become a part of our family. But when it comes to selling your home, potential buyers may not be impressed by the presence of your four-legged family member. Whether it’s due to allergies or a simple case of not being a lover of animals, many buyers shy away from a home with pets. The good news is that there are strategies you can employ to sell your house without a ruff time.
A Foolproof Solution
If you worry about potential home buyers being scared off by the presence of your pet, find an alternate location for them while you are showing the home. Perhaps a neighbor, family member or friend could watch your pet for a few hours. Otherwise, consider boarding your pet temporarily. Without the discomfort of an unfamiliar animal, buyers will be free to tour your home and envision their own belongings in it without having any distraction.
If All Else Fails . . .
If you cannot find a way to temporarily relocate your pet, place him/her in a pet carrier when buyers are touring your home. Animals should not remain in this type of unit for more than two hours at a time, but this should give buyers enough time to see the home and ask any questions. If you have an outdoor kennel or exercise pen, your pet may be satisfied here until the tour is over. Your main focus is to keep him/her from interfering with the tour and/or disturbing your potential buyer.
What’s Left Behind
As every pet parent knows, animals often leave little surprises in some unapproved places. If you find yourself with carpet stains or pet odors, hire a professional cleaning company. If this fails, replace the carpet or consider installing hardwood floors. Buyers will see stains or smell the presence of an animal and may form an early opinion, which isn’t likely to be favorable, before even giving your house a chance. Once your pets are out of the house, remove their litter box or training pad(s) and clean the area thoroughly.
Many sellers are already aware of this term because staging a house is essential in the real estate business. If you have pets, remove any photos or other goodies, including toys and furniture, when showing your home.
When you sell a home, your real estate agent will take photos for the listing. These images may appear in advertisements and/or on the real estate agent’s Web site, which means they should represent everything that is wonderful about your home. Avoid any photos that show your pet, his/her toys or bed. Buyers are not looking for a pet, but rather a house that they can call home.
Your local law may require that you inform potential buyers that a pet lives in the home. Nobody likes to see pet hair on the carpet or see a dirty litter box, but they do have the right to know everything about the house, including any pet presence.