We know you love your pet and it loves you too. But many home buyers won’t and it could get in the way of selling your home. Buyers can afraid of dogs big and small, allergic to cats and turned off by lingering pet odors. Mark Nash author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home and a syndicated columnist for RealtyTimes.com shares some do’s and don’t for home sellers when marketing their home.
-Have carpets and area rugs cleaned before showing your home to potential buyers. Those allergic to animal dander and hair, even if they can’t see your pet will know when their eyes and nose start to alert them to an allergic reaction. Many will not purchase a home that poses strong allergy problems.
-Clean litter boxes daily and replace litter before it’s time. Urine smells permeating from litter boxes are a turn=off to home buyers.
-Vacuum pet hair off carpets, rugs and furniture before every showing. No one likes to leave a home tour covered with pet hair.
-Brush your pets daily to keep ahead of shedding hair.
-Verify that old pet urine mishaps in carpets and under rugs on hardwood floors are gone for good. Hot humid weather can bring these old scents back to life.
-Train pets not to jump up on strangers, furniture and countertops. It is distracting for buyers to see cats running in food preparation areas and dogs mauling quality clothing.
-Take the high road and offer to pay medical bills if your pet bites a buyer or real estate agent. Agent communities are small and word gets around fast about home sellers that don’t take responsibility for unruly pets.
-Clean up and buy new dog bowls before placing your home of market. Fresh pet bowls filled with fresh food and water finish off a pristine home.
-Leave pets unattended for property showings especially when you know they can be aggressive or territorial around strangers.
-Take for granted just because you have never seen you pet be aggressive that if around new people, scents and noises they might show a side you’ve never seen.
-Overlook picking up dog dropping in the yard. Buyers out to take a look at the roof don’t want any “take away”.
-Underestimate how a barking dog or overly friendly cats can kill a showing. Be pro-active and take your pets off site for showings. Hire a dog walker to occupy pets if you can’t be home.
-Forget to groom your animals more regularly when your home is for sale. Dog breath and wet dog hair aren’t becoming to buyers, even if they love dogs.
-Leave chewed window sills and door frames in that condition. It’s hard for buyers to get past this type of property damage. Especially if you have young children in the house.
Consult with your real estate agent if you have uncommon pets such as reptiles, spiders, and talking birds. Believe it or not these can cause more anguish to those not accustomed to being around them.