The Keri Shull Team full heartedly approves of sharing your home with furry friends. Most of us have a beloved pet (or two, or three!) at home ourselves. However, when you decide it’s time to sell your home, having pets can pose a few problems. Remember that not all home buyers like pets in the house. Seeing, smelling, or hearing animals in the home may turn off some buyers. Luckily we’ve helped dozens of clients with pets sell their homes successfully for many years, so we know all the tips and tricks for making your home appeal to the most finicky of buyers — even a buyer that hates cats or dogs!
Here are our top tips for sellers with pets:
Clean Litter Boxes Often
If you’re a cat owner, you know that the litter box is the most hated piece of “furniture” in the house. Most of us try to hide them in closets or bathrooms and pretend they doesn’t exist. When you list your home for sale, it’s imperative that you keep the litter box clean, even if it’s hidden. Some buyers like to see every single space your home has to offer, so if they do stumble onto your cat’s potty, you’ll want it to be neat and tidy. We recommended getting a litter box with a lid to keep the unpleasant smells and sights contained. Always clean the litter box before every showing, and try to store it in a location that will be undisturbed during showings.
Put Away Pet Toys & Supplies
Whether you own a cat or a dog (or maybe a ferret), you’ve probably accumulated a lot of pet-related stuff like toys, beds, scratching posts, bowls, and other supplies. Put it all away before you show your home! If you’re serious about selling, you’ll need to diligently scour the house for all things pet-related and hide them away until the day’s showings are over. You don’t want buyers walking in and tripping over a stray toy, and you definitely don’t want to list a cluttered home.
Tidy Up the Yard
If you own a dog and have yard space, your grass is probably getting fertilized on the regular. That’s fine ordinarily, but not when you’re trying to sell your home. No buyer wants to step out into the backyard, right onto a pile of dog poop. Take the time to tidy up your lawn each time you’re showing your home to potential buyers. The outdoor space is just as important as the rest of the rooms in your house, so keep it neat!
Consider Boarding Your Pets
When you’re showing your home, many strangers will be coming onto your property and that could upset a territorial pet. If you’re not willing to walk your dog to the local park every time your home is being shown to potential buyers, consider boarding your companion(s) temporarily. It would be disaster if your pet bit or scratched a potential buyer, and you definitely don’t want a loud, barking dog in the welcoming party. There is also the risk that a pet may be let out accidentally. Play it safe and get your pets out of the home when you’re trying to sell it.
Banish Pet Smells
The smell of pets can be the hardest thing to remove from your home when you’re trying to sell. Thankfully, there are a lot of things you can do to keep your home smelling fresh. We know you’d never try to sell a dirty home, but pet dander can linger on carpets and upholstery. Steam clean your carpet to remove trapped smells and use a fabric spray on things you can’t wash. Buy a few air fresheners (nothing too strong) or invest in an air purifier if strong pet smells persist. If you aren’t boarding your pets while you show your home, make sure to bathe them frequently to keep dirt and dander at a minimum.
The Bottom Line
Being a pet owner comes with a lot of responsibility. When you’re also a home owner and trying to sell, it can be a lot to handle. Our tried and true tips will make it a little easier on you, but do yourself a bigger favor and sell with the Keri Shull Team! We’ll help you become a successful seller no matter how many pets you own. Contact us today to learn why we’re the best real estate team in the DMV!