Realtor Tim Dovel’s Tips to Get You on Track
I always get the question, “I’m thinking about selling our house, but we have pets. What do we do?”
Here are some tips to go about selling a home with pets the right way:
Tip #1: Stinky, stinky, stinky…not my house!
We all think our fur pets don’t smell—even my little Boston Terrier—but let’s be real, they go outside, run and roll around in the grass, and play in the dirt. Guess where they go afterward? Inside the house. So we need to ensure we clean everything to remove the pet smells. This doesn’t just mean vacuuming the carpet and wiping down the countertops. You’ll want to hire a professional carpet cleaning company, preferably one that uses products that are pet-friendly. Don’t forget to clean area rugs, those hard to reach places, and the closets. Pet hair and dust can also get trapped in the air ducts within your home; a professional air duct cleaning company can help clean those and help eliminate any lingering odors.
Tip #2: Clean up your pet’s belongings
One of the most inexpensive ways to help prepare your home for sale is by decluttering (also recommended if you don’t have pets.) Your pet’s belongings can be toys, beds, pet dishes, blankets, and even their litter pans. Before any showings, you’ll want to remove any pet items—including the litter pan—and place them in a secure private location.
Tip #3: Curb appeal
Keeping your yard tidy and green will help you sell your home faster and for top dollar. Remove any pet toys from the yard and secure them in one area. Fix any items that your pet might have damaged (fencing, grass, etc). Pet urine can cause the grass to turn colors, try using a grass saver liquid spray similar to See Spot Run, which is a natural, environmentally-friendly, and safe product to use around pets and children (per their description). It’s also a good idea to fill in those holes your pet dug, plant fresh flowers, and replace any trees or shrubs that need it.
Tip #4: Remove your pets during showings
Yes, this can be a major challenge, but it will help you with selling your home. I’ve heard from several Realtors that when showing a house to their buyers if a pet is left in the house, the pet’s barking, jumping, and scratching noises, etc. can make it hard for them to have a discussion while viewing your home. When selling a home, we want the buyers’ experience to be great, with minimum distractions and unnecessary noises. This will help the buyers see themselves living in the house. If you are unable to remove your pets during a showing, it’s recommended to place them in a crate or in a secured room with a note on the door; this will not only help the Realtor know where your pet is but will help keep them from being released outside. It can also help the buyer be aware, just in case they have not been around many pets. The worst thing we can do is scare the buyer or have your pet get out.
Tip #5: Air Fresheners
One easy way to prevent pet odors is to use air fresheners, but don’t overdo it. Less is more! If using air fresheners, only use one scent throughout the home and try to keep it a neutral smell. I like using Febreze air freshener, which is safe around people and pets per their website. This can be used once a week, daily, or right before a showing.
Tip #6: When in doubt, talk to an expert
Not only is moving stressful to you, but it can also be stressful for your pet. Our pets get accustomed to our daily routines and to our friends and family members. When strangers come by (realtors, buyers, inspectors, etc.) this can cause stress to your pets. Contact your vet and talk to them about the move, they can give you sound advice relating to any anxiety your pet might experience.
Preparing your home for sale and keeping your pets happy might require some additional work, but it’ll be worth it and can fetch you the best price for your property.
Tim Dovel of Fathom Realty is your CincyPet Magazine source covering pets and real estate. If you have any topics you want to learn about or have any questions regarding the market, let him know in the comments below.