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Selling Your Home When You Have Pets

Selling Your Home When You Have Pets

Your family undoubtedly loves your furry friends, but potential homebuyers might not. Pets make messes, their smells can linger, and their fur – as you well know – gets everywhere. If you’re looking to sell your home, you’ll want to take care to keep your pets’ presence to a minimum. Here are some tips for making your home show-ready even when you’re living with pets.

Scrub and Vacuum Away Traces of Your Pets
Get ready to put in some time and serious elbow grease. The first tip is to deep clean every inch of your house to remove pet stains, odors, fur, and dander. You can opt to do it yourself, or you can hire a team of professionals to take on this arduous task. Beyond the typical vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping, you will also want to scrub baseboards, walls, furniture, and cabinet tops. Don’t forget how well fabric holds smells! Launder all your linens and towels, clean your carpet and curtains, and wash anything that might have come in contact with your pets. 

Cover Their Tracks
Add this to your prep list for showings: Hide the evidence of your pets. You don’t want buyers greeted by the sight of a litter box or tripped by an errant dog toy. Here are some things to consider:
  • Clean litter boxes, then move them out of the way.
  • Collect and put away dog toys, both inside and in the yard.
  • Move dog crates, cat carriers, and hamster and bird cages to somewhere out of sight.
  • Bring cat towers or other pet structures to your garage or basement.
  • Put water and food bowls in your pantry or under the kitchen sink.
Get Rid of the Smell
You want buyers to feel comfortable and at home the moment they set foot into your house. You can’t achieve that if the smell of animals greets them. You might not notice it, but people from outside your house will be able to tell you have a pet right away. Destroy the smell (instead of just masking it with a candle) by using a pet-safe deodorizer spray, such as Nature’s Miracle, Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator, or Rocco & Roxie Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator. These products all work immediately to eliminate pet odor without being toxic to your animals. For really tough smells – or a house with a lifetime of animal inhabitants – consider investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter.

Repair Damage from Your Furry Friends
Baseboard scratches? Floor scuffs? Furniture showing claw marks? These are all sure signs a pet lives in your home, even if you’ve completely gotten rid of any odors. It’s time to fix these issues (or, at least, remove them from your home for now.)
You can repair scratches on wooden baseboards or floors with wood putty. If your floors are beyond saving with a bit of putty, you might need to sand and refinish them. Another home remedy for scratches on wooden furniture – think the legs on your couch, kitchen table, or counter – is to rub them with a walnut.

Tidy Up the Yard
Dogs and cats are notorious for leaving presents in flower beds, gardens, and pretty much everywhere in the yard. Make sure you thoroughly clean up any waste in the yard. Beyond that, take care of any holes your pets might have dug, any signs of pests in your garden, or anything other sign of your pet’s presence. Clean up any destroyed chew toys and tennis balls. Make sure your backyard is as presentable and appealing as the inside of your home. Mow the grass, rake up leaves, cover holes or dirt patches, and make sure your flowers aren’t desperate for water.

We all hold our pets near and dear to our hearts. But sometimes, we have to do a little extra for them. Selling your home with pets doesn’t have to be a hassle. Make sure you allocate time and money to cleaning up your home, deodorizing smells, and fixing lightly damaged things, and you’ll have no problem with showings.


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Martha - Lehigh Valley New Home Advisors

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