| Selling

Most cat and dog owners see their pets as family members. If you fall into this category, it may be hard for you to believe that your four-legged friend could negatively impact your home sale. Be that as it may, the selling process is about making your house appealing to as many home hunters as possible. It’s important to keep this in mind, since many buyers are bound to think twice about purchasing a home when they see signs of pets.

If you’re selling your house and you have a cat or dog, use these four tips to ensure that your property makes a great impression.

1) Do a deep clean

No matter how frequently you clean your home, it’s bound to contain pet hair—and the odd stain. The same goes for unpleasant smells, which owners often stop noticing over time. That’s why it’s so important to perform a deep clean before you list your house. Start by finding any problem areas. Scour your home for old or hidden stains, including those that might be lurking in closets or under furniture. Ask a friend or neighbor to come in and help you detect any odors that you might have missed. When you’re ready to start cleaning, look for specialty pet stain and odor removal products. A lint brush or dry sponge can work wonders when it comes to picking up hair on fabric, upholstery, and other surfaces that are hard to vacuum.

2) Do a thorough outdoor assessment

It goes without saying that animal waste is a major turnoff for most buyers. For this reason, it’s important to do a complete visual inspection of the area around your home. Snow can hide messes in the winter, so don’t forget to be thorough! You should also be aware that landscaping can play a major role in buyer perceptions. Torn and trampled grass has an unkempt appearance, which is why you should pay extra attention to your yard if you have a dog. If your lawn is looking worse for wear, consider talking to an expert at your local gardening store—or even hiring a qualified landscaper.

3) Make arrangements for your pets

Ideally, pets shouldn’t be present during the period when buyers are touring your home. Even well-behaved dogs and cats can pose a major distraction during showings. Worse yet, seeing an animal can make buyers think about the damage they may have inflicted on your house. For these reasons, it’s best to find alternative arrangements for your pet. Ask a friend or family member if your four-legged friend can stay with them while you’re in the process of selling. Alternatively, look for a trustworthy dog or cat boarding service. While many owners are reluctant to leave their best friend with a stranger, most animal hotels are run by a professional staff that’s devoted to ensuring that pets are well cared for.

4) Pack away pet products

It’s not just the sight of your pets that could turn buyers off. Any sign of them could be enough to make a home hunter question how well maintained your house is. Of course, removing your litter box is a must. That said, even food and water bowls, leashes, and toys can trigger negative associations in a buyer’s mind. In addition to making alternative arrangements for your cat or dog, pack away any visible pet care items. Make it part of the decluttering process.

The bottom line? Not every home buyer is an animal lover. Recognizing this fact can help you prepare your house to make a positive impression on everyone who walks through the door.

Selling a home—with or without pets? We know what buyers are looking for. Get in touch to learn how we can help you make the most of your home sale!

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