Your furry friends can’t read “For Sale” signs. So, if you’re planning to put your home on the market, it’s up to you to erase any evidence you share it with animals.
Why? Although recent studies show more than 63.4 million American households include a dog and 42.7 million include a cat — not to mention the millions that house birds, fish, small animals, and more — real estate experts say most potential buyers and renters don’t want to see (or smell) any evidence of animals in homes they view, even if they are pet owners themselves. And they’ll be even more turned off if they aren’t animal lovers or suffer from allergies and find themselves walking through a home where the couch is covered in cat hair, dog bowls are on full display in the kitchen, or family pets are roaming free. Use these tips to get your home ready for market.
Consider Renting Out Your Home
Many homeowners choose to rent out their homes instead of selling them as renting gives them the opportunity to gain income and build equity. Of course renting comes with increased responsibilities as you’ll have to navigate being a landlord and dealing with tenants and repairs. Before renting, research the rental market in your area. If you need to attract tenants, list your rental online at sites like Rentals.com where prospective renters will be able to filter through homes by price, size, number of bedrooms, amenities, and much more. The site will also allow you to post 3D tours and videos of your home. Whether you’re renting or selling your home, the advice below still applies.
Start With a Deep Clean
Almost anyone with pets can commiserate about how difficult it is to keep furniture fur-free. And even the best-behaved animals can have the occasional smelly accident indoors. So you might want to hire help to give your home a deep cleaning before putting it up for sale. Professional house cleaners have special tools and techniques to eliminate odors and build up and uncover dens of dog hair you may miss. Whether you hire a professional or DIY the job, give everything a thorough cleaning, including carpets, baseboards and ceiling fans.
Keep It Up
You can help maintain the illusion that your home is pet-free by vacuuming and dusting before each showing. If your pet is a serious shedder, bathing him or regularly brushing him outside will minimize flying fur indoors.
You should also stash leashes, litter boxes, and the like if at all possible. Similarly, arrange a pet playdate during showings or even put your pet in the temporary care of a close friend or family member he loves while your home is in heavy rotation with prospective buyers or renters. Again, some may be allergic, and cute canines and cats can be a distraction for animal-loving visitors, taking their attention off the other highlights of your home.
Don’t Forget the Yard
Most potential buyers or renters will want to peruse the whole property, so be sure to scoop puppy poop before any showing. If your dog is a digger, fill in any holes. Likewise, repair any brown patches by aerating and seeding spots well before your home goes on the market or invest in new sod for a quicker fix. And train your furry friend to answer nature’s call in an inconspicuous spot and take her on long walks to help keep your yard clean and green.
Repair ‘Tell-Tail’ Signs
Even angelic animals will leave the occasional scratch on a wall or door or some other evidence of their comings and goings. But, if you’ve been living with those small signs for a while, they may be almost impossible for you to spot on your own. An article in U.S. News & World Report recommends having a neutral person walk through your home specifically searching for things that may need a little, or a lot of, TLC before buyers or renters come through. Some fixes, like scuffed and scratched doors, may be easy. Others, like severely scratched wood floors or hopelessly stained carpet, may take a lot longer. So be sure to start the process early enough to put your home in its best light when it’s listed.
You should also make sure your home passes a sniff test. As the neutral person does the walk through, have them take care to notice if there are any pet odors lingering. Leading up to showings, have a dog hair dryer on hand so that you can curtail any wet dog smells before they can leave a lasting impression on your home. Washing pet beds and blankets and cleaning furniture where your pet regularly rests can also help remove pet odors.
While it may require some time and effort, implementing this advice indoors and out will likely help your home sell faster, allowing you — and your furry family members — to settle into a new spot faster.
Image via Pixabay.