How To Sell A Home With Pets
Many pet owners would describe their four legged friends not only as cute and adorable, but also as members of the family. We welcome the puppy or kitten into our home and consider it just as much their home as it is our own. Because we love them, we tolerate their smells and their messes. Even if our pet is mischievous, we tend to overlook any damage they may have done to our home because we enjoy their company. All this is true, until it is time to move! Then suddenly we are all too aware of the countless pieces of evidence that our home is shared with pets. So, what do you to prepare your home for the market when you have animals? Here are a few tips on how to sell a home with pets.
- Floors – Stunning floors can make a home. Hardwood is especially impressive, but it can be the worst for revealing pet hair. Use an electrostatic mop (much like a Swiffer) to pick up pet hair more efficiently than sweeping. You may even consider vacuuming.
- Upholstery – A tape roller is the easiest way to remove pet hair from your upholstery. Make a thorough pass over your furniture right before a potential buyer comes by for a viewing.
- Air Filters – Changing your air filters will help to clear pet hair out of the air and minimize the pet smell.
- Outdoors – Do not forget to check the yard for tell-tale signs of pet ownership. A prospective buyer does not want to step into any unexpected surprises left by your furry friends during a home viewing.
- Remove Quickly – The sooner you get a stain out, the better. Especially in carpet, pet urine can permanently change the dye and make the stain more difficult, if not impossible, to remove.
- Remove Residue – Remove solid residue using a paper towel or wet wipe. If the waste has dried, use a dull knife to scrape it away.
- Cleaning Solution – Martha Stewart recommends using a solution of ¼ tsp clear dish-washing liquid, mixed with one cup of water. Wet a towel or rag in the solution and blot until clean.
- Professional Help – For tough stains that you are not able to get out yourself, you may need to call a professional carpet cleaner.
- Change Litter Often – Do not wait until you sense a problem, change your litter regularly during a selling season. Going “nose blind” to the smells in our home is a real thing. Do not depend on your ability to detect your pet’s odor, before you act.
- Clean Potty Corners – If there is an area of the house or garage where your pet is prone to having “accidents,” be sure to clean that area thoroughly using bleach or another strong cleaner.
- DIY Odor Removal – There are many enzymatic odor removal products on the market. However, you can make your own odor removal solution by combing a cup of baking soda, ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide and a teaspoon of dish detergent.
- Persistent Odor – Use a spray bottle to dampen the area with a mixture of ½ vinegar and ½ water. Allow it to sit for five minutes and then clean the carpet as best you can. Once you have blotted the carpet dry, sprinkle it with baking soda and let it sit overnight. Then vacuum thoroughly.
- Prevent – Prevent pet damage by keeping claws neatly trimmed and filed. The adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly applies in this area.
- Door Jams – Scratch marks on door jams can sometimes be repaired with a simple coat of paint. A light sanding may be required, to remove deeper marks before painting.
- Floors – Scratches on hardwood floors can be covered with a light coat of appropriately colored furniture polish. Be sure to clean up all excess polish so that the floor will not be slippery.
- Landscaping Repair – Fill holes in the yard and repair landscaping damage around the outside of the house. This may mean you will need to put down a fresh coat of mulch and replant flowers that have been dug up.
Once you have made your home presentable for the agent to show, you will want to keep maintaining it. The easiest way to maintain, is to make arrangements for your pet to stay somewhere else during the selling season. Some possibilities include day boarding or keeping them at a friend’s house. If that is not an option you can create an area in the home or yard where they will be better contained. You will also want to request buyer agents to give you ample notice for showing requests. This will allow you time to spruce up the home and either put away the animals or take them with you during the showing. What is most important is to remember that the listing period is temporary and your canine and feline companions will soon be accompanying you to your new home!