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How to Prepare your Pet Friendly Home for Buyers

Posted by Sherry Rioux on March 14, 2016

Everyone loves pets… Except for homebuyers.

It’s hard to imagine anyone taking exception to the presence of your precious pet. For many sellers, their cats or dogs are simply part of the family. However, some people think that pets make the home “extra” dirty, some people have allergies, some are afraid of certain animals, and others will take a disliking to your pet even if they have their own. The bottom line is, buyers need to picture themselves in your home, and your pets are personal to you; so they encroach on the space buyers need to have that vision.

In order to get the best dollar for your home, it’s a good idea to remove all signs that point to a pet in the house. This includes removing litter boxes, doggy pads or beds, and smelly things. Most homebuyers don’t mind the smell of their own pets. But you can bet your bottom selling dollar that even pet-friendly buyers will have an issue with your fur family simply because it isn’t theirs.

Here are some tips on how to prepare your pet-friendly home for sale:

1. Temporary relocation

It’s easier to show your home, sell your home, and keep it clean if pets aren’t around when buyers start rolling in. If you have friends or family who would love to put up your pet for the time being, it’s a great chance to get rid of any signs that an animal lives in the house.

2. Remove pets for showings

It’s totally understandable that you may not want to relocate your pet. This could be stressful for your family animal, and it might not feel like the right thing for you to do. If this is the case, it’s recommended that you at least find a kitty or doggy sitter while you’re showing your property to potential buyers. Ideally the realtor will be showing your home to buyers – and worrying about the pet misbehaving (or worse, running away!) can be distracting to your realtor while they’re trying to do their job.

3. Repair pet damage

You’re probably used to seeing that scratched-up doorframe or the picks in the carpets. Try to look at these things from a buyer’s perspective; pet damage (just like any other kind of damage) is simply not attractive when you’re thinking of buying a home. It may be expensive to fix those scratches in your hardwood floor, but the cost of repairs will be worth it when you get a higher value for your home.

4. Clean the yard

This one’s straightforward. Scoop the poop! It’s a part of life, and great that the pet didn’t leave little presents inside the home; but it’s not beneficial to greet buyers with… you know what… before they even get through the door. Additionally, repairing damaged turf or dug-up gardens makes a better first impression.

5. Remove stains and odours

Pets – and people – can leave stains or odours around the house as the years go by. Sense of smell has a very powerful effect on visitors, on their memory, and also on their perception of things. In fact, a strong odour is one of the number one reasons a why some buyers will pass on a home completely! It’s best that you have your carpets and flooring professionally cleaned or even replaced if necessary. It’s a great fix, and the effort will pay off in the long run.

Selling a home with pets takes a little extra work, but when you get a better price for your home, you’ll be happy that you made the effort! Sometimes it’s impossible to hide the evidence of a fur family, but the tactic here isn’t about avoidance, or lying. It’s simply best to do what’s necessary to give buyers a great experience in your home and nothing to complain about. You’re putting a lot of effort into making your home look its best when it goes up for sale; and your pets are probably wonderful little fur people! Just try to think of this as one step towards the “depersonalization” of your home that you can take, in order to get top dollar for your property.

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