Family pets and home sales have never been close allies. Having critters of any variety sometimes pose obstacles in the home sale process. However, your pets are a part of the family and as such they need to be cared for and considered very closely throughout the home sale process. Keep in mind that having a pet or several is akin to selling a home with young children, there may always be a toy out of place, but the key is to have a strategy going into the sale.
Pay Close Attention to Detail
Buyers with pets, especially in the areas surrounding Columbus want room for them to roam just as much as they want a spacious home for their non-furry family members. A border fence is a big selling point to those families with dogs of any size and cats. The ability for a family to let their dog out and not worry about them running off after a move is priceless. For those of you who have fences in need of repair, please do so. Correct chipped paint where dogs or cats have scratched the walls, fill in dug up holes throughout the yard and replace torn curtains or fabric furniture. Also pay close attention to any type of stain or odor. These are huge buyer deterrents and if there is a smelly stain on the carpet from one of your pets it is best to replace the carpet and the padding, since lingering odors can turn a buyer away in a heartbeat.
Every Pet is Different
- Birds are noisy, cages smell funny and seeds and feathers are constantly being scattered about. Clean the cage daily, vacuum surrounding area just before every showing and cover cage with clean blanket or towel before potential buyers arrive.
- Many people react negatively to reptiles of any sort. Try to locate the habitat in a place that does not attract attention. Keep habitat clean and warn visitors with a clearly worded sign to keep hands out of enclosure.
- Cats normally hide when visitors arrive which is a good thing, but their litter boxes do not. Keep these boxes clean, odor free and out of the way at all times.
- Dogs should not be around when the home is being shown. The sweetest and friendliest dogs are unpredictable when strangers are in their home and it is usually best to have a pre-showing plan or try and board the dogs on days that showings are scheduled.
- Keep a laundry basket or tub available with cleaning wipes, clean rags and spray pet deodorizer near the vacuum. Stock up on fresh vacuum bags. This way if you have a last minute mess, your clean-up kit is readily available.
Keep the Stress Levels Low
Pets, like humans, can become stressed from the home sale process. They sense when something is different and strangers coming in and out of the home is definitely a hard thing for them to handle. Try to keep them as calm as possible through daily exercise, special attention and having their own space at all times. This space would preferably be out of the way, but keeping their food and water in one spot throughout the sale is a simple step to keep one thing constant for them.
It does take extra steps to sell a home with pets, but it is something that happens all the time and as realtors, we are prepared to help you strategize for preparing your home before showings. Remember to keep everything as clean as possible, but with realistic expectations. Stay mindful of the fact that home buyers also have pets or wish to own a home so they can be free to own a pet. And keep in mind that while you are selling your home, this is not the best time to add to your pet family as it will only add to any stress you are already feeling throughout the sale. For more information about selling you home, with or without pets, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you are interested in how to avoid other seller mistakes, please check out our newest infographic below: