Everything in life comes with a price, including pet ownership. No one can deny that your four-legged family members bring you immense joy. Yet they can present challenges when you're ready to sell your home. But, there are ways to make your house appealing to buyers while causing minimal disruption to your pets’ lives.
The No-Trace Approach
When staging a home, it’s in your best interests to remove all signs of pets, if possible. This means not only putting away the litter box and dog food, but possibly even temporarily removing your pets from the home. If possible, bring them with you to a friend’s house or to a local pet daycare. While you're at it, take these steps as well:
- Remove pictures of your pets, plaques that feature their names, etc., from public view. You should also rid your home of indirect evidence of animals, such as chairs with gnaw marks or upholstery with cat scratches. A lint roller works well to remove hair from furniture. You may need to repaint walls which your pet has soiled at one time or another.
- Clean your home top to bottom, using products designed to remove pet odors. Ask a third party ( ideally a non-pet owner) to give your home a "sniff test." If their nose detects even the slightest hint of your furry friends, then you should clean everything in the vicinity of the smell again.
- If your friend still notices odors, then you may need to remove the offending articles altogether. For example, if a section of carpet bears the indelible signs of a pet toileting accident, then you should replace it with laminate or tile.
- Go on poop patrol around your property and dispose of scat at your local landfill. Dumping it in your regular trash cans, inside or outside, can turn away even the most excited prospect.
- Never mention your pets around buyers - although seller ethics require you to 'fess up if asked about them. You may face legal penalties if you deny that you own pets, according to Zillow. It's best to avoid the topic unless asked about it.
Minimizing the Effect on Your Pets
How do you square your need to sell your home with your duty to do right by your pets? Here are some tips:
- Ask your vet for advice. She can evaluate your pet's physical and mental health and make recommend alternatives.
- Take your pet to visit the place where she will spend her time during showings. Familiarity will help to soothe her mind.
- Bring some of your pet's favorite toys, treats, blanket, etc., with her so she can enjoy these items during the visit.
- Always check reviews for a kennel or pet daycare if you're unfamiliar with the facility.
- If your pet is a cat, then you will probably transport her in a carrier. Help your cat get used to being in the enclosure ahead of time.
- Give your pet extra love and attention. Remember, your furry friend has no concept of real estate. You pet only knows that something in its environment is changing, which in its mind signals a potential threat.
Selling a house when you're a pet owner is sometimes a juggling act. But use these tips to help you to meet the challenge with a clear conscience. You and your family will have plenty to celebrate as you enjoy life in your new home.