We often think of our furry little friends as more like family members than pets; they’re cute, cuddly and provide us with unconditional love… who wouldn’t adore that? Well, your potential homebuyer, for one. Not everyone loves your pet as much as you do, in fact, not everyone even likes animals. This can be a real issue when selling a home and it’s something you need to put considerable thought into. Here’s our advice on what to do about your pets when your home is up for sale.
Fix pet-related damages
Pets can be destructive little critters, and sometimes, it’s a trait we can overlook. But a homebuyer won’t. Do the rounds of your property and fill in any holes your dog may have dug or replace the hose or sprinkler he’s chewed to pieces. The same applies for indoors. Cats will scratch up carpets, curtains or furniture, so check everything thoroughly. And if you have polished floors, you may need to consider resurfacing if your pooch has gouged deep tracks in it with her nails.
Eliminate odours and stains
We love our fur babies, but nobody loves their smells. And when you live with an animal on a daily basis, you may not even realise they have one. When selling a home with pets, it’s best to get professional carpet cleaning done to remove any stains and odours, and keep the carpets vacuumed regularly. The same goes for your couches and cushions; any sign of cat fur or dog hair is likely to turn a buyer off regardless how nice the property is presented. Oh, and um, don’t forget to pick up any droppings – that would be quite an unpleasant surprise for any prospective buyer!
Hide all the evidence
If pets were an illegal substance, then consider your potential buyer as the police. No, we’re not suggesting you flush your pets down the loo (please don’t do that!), but removing all evidence of their existence is a good move. This means clearing away any clutter such as toys, beds, litter trays, or any other pet paraphernalia you may own.
Put pets away during open house inspections
Now that you’ve removed all signs of animal life, the next step is taking your actual pet off the property during inspections, if possible. This can be as simple as asking a neighbour to mind them for a few hours, taking them to work with you, or arranging boarding accommodation for the expected duration. If you can’t remove your pet, you should at least lock them away in a secure crate, or tether them safely somewhere where they are cool, comfortable and out of the way.
Why is it important?
There are a number of reasons why you should remove your pet and their evidence when selling a home. For starters, you want the best possible chance at making a sale, and since your buyer is interested enough to inspect the property, you don’t want anything to unnecessarily hinder the possibility. Some buyers simply may not be too fond of animals or have pets themselves, or if they do have pets, they may have a strict outdoors-only policy. Many people also have hypersensitive pet allergies or phobias, and no matter how well you know your pet, some animals can become nervous around lots of strangers – especially in their own home. It’s just not worth the risk.
Owning a pet requires a little extra thought and effort when it comes to selling a home, but when there’s so much at stake, can you really afford not to?