Things to Consider When Selling with Pets
Like every home seller out there, Fur-Mom and Fur-Dad, you'll want to ensure that your house attracts the most buyers possible. In prepping and showing your house once it's on the market, having Fido or Fifi as part of the family and living in your house will mean that there may be some extra preparatory steps ahead of you, that will take into consideration the best interest of your pet and the sale of your house.
Talk to your veterenarian, who knows your pet well. Important to keep in mind are the needs of your pet, and a veterenarian is the go-to to discuss those needs with. Let them know your plans for relocating, and how it will be managed with your specific pet or pets. This is especially important to think of if you are selling with an older animal. A move can be just as stressful to an animal as their owner.
You're not going to want to hear this next one, though I'll say it anyway. As a pet owner myself, it's a tough piece of reality to swallow. Selling with a pet is tough on them, and it's tough on you, because it's tough on them. Is there a friend or a family member that can keep your pet while your house is on the market? It's easier to sell and show a home (and keep it clean) if pets aren't present when buyers begin to view your house. If a friend or family member can temporarily board your pet, it will give you a chance to get your house to the point where it looks like no pets live there, and keep it that way. Believe it or not, there are plenty of homeowners out there who will not even consider a home that has a pet in residence.
At the very least, remove your pets during showings. A barking dog in the back yard, or a cat that rubs up against someone who is wearing black pants will be distracting. As the Buyer agent, worrying about making sure that a pet doesn't get out while you're trying to show the house takes away from pointing out the features and benefits of your house to the buyers. If it's not possible to remove the pets during showings? Ensure that they are in an area of the home where they will be safe, and let the showing agent know where they are and that they are not to be disturbed, or purchase a pet-friendly crate to contain them during showings. While you and they may not be accustomed to this, it's sometimes necessary in order to get the house shown, and sold.
Wear and tear on your house that is directly attibuted to a pet is never attractive to a buyer, and should be addressed when it comes time to sell your home. Pet scratches on the window sills, doors, or floors should be fixed. Turf dug up in the back yard should be replaced. Although the cost of these repairs may not be on the smaill side, the value you will get in return will be worth the investment, and a far better alternative to them becoming a detractor if not repaired.
While showing houses, we've visited homes that buyers have nicknamed "The Cat House" based on the overwhelming odor of cat urine upon entering. Sometimes pets have accidents, and while it's true that we may have addressed those messes immediately, we also tend to become used to the smells in our homes over time. A first time visitor to your home will most likely notice pet smells right off the bat. We've seen buyers passing on otherwised considered homes because of pet smells. You may need to have your carpets or furniture professionally cleaned, or replaced to address this concern. Then, have a neighbor come over and give you an honest "whiff" test.
You want buyers to be as unaware of the signs of your pet as possible. Putting away all pet toys, bedding, food and litter boxes is a must when showing your house. Removing any pictures of your pet is another consideration. Like all other homesellers, decluttering is a huge part of prepping your house for sale to be sure that your house sells quicker, and for the most money possible.
The journey to "sold" can be a tough one for pets and owners a like. Putting your efforts in preparation and optimizing on every showing requested of your home will shorten your "on market" time, and have Fido bringing you your slippers in your new house, in no time.