How to Sell a Home with Pets

How to Sell a Home with Pets

Americans love their pets! The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are roughly 84 million dogs and 62 million cats in the U.S. Millions of other households have hamsters, fish, birds, reptiles, and other exotic animals. However, selling a home with pets can be tricky. Though you may consider your pets part of the family, not everyone may agree.

The fact is that buyers want to envision themselves living in the space, so this means hiding evidence that a dog or cat lives in the home. After all, a messy backyard or a whiff of a dirty litter box is enough to ruin a showing. Though selling your home when you have pets doesn't have to be complicated, there are some steps you should follow to ensure success. Today, we're discussing tips for selling your pet-friendly Mid-Missouri home.

What to Consider During Home Showings

When selling your home, you will more than likely have to show your property to potential buyers. If you have pets, it is essential to consider how to handle their presence during showings. Here are a few things you should consider:

Determine What is Best for Your Pet

Listing your home can be a stressful experience for pets, as it disrupts their usual routine and introduces new people, smells, and changes to the environment. If your pet tends to get anxious or stressed during such changes, it may be helpful to speak with your veterinarian about ways to help them cope. Every pet is unique and may react differently to these situations, so you should always consider your individual pet's needs as you prepare to list your home.

Remove Your Pets for Better Results

There are several reasons why having your pets present during a home showing may not be a good idea. Even if your pets are usually well-behaved and friendly, the presence of unfamiliar people and smells in your home can sometimes lead to unexpected aggression. This is especially true if your pets are left alone during the showing. It is also important to note that some homeowners' insurance policies may not cover dog bites, so it may be necessary to take extra precautions to protect yourself and others.

Moreover, some potential buyers may have allergies to pets or may be afraid of them, which can limit the appeal of your home to these individuals. In our experience, crated dogs tend to bark during showings, which can distract a buyer from paying attention to your home. By removing your pets during a home showing, you can help to create a welcoming environment for all potential buyers and maximize the appeal of your home.

If Removing the Pet is Not an Option

If you are caught off guard by a sudden home showing and cannot make arrangements for your pets to be elsewhere, find a quiet location in the home and use a cage or kennel for your pet, for their safety and for the comfort of your buyer. Also, work with your agent to ensure that the showing instructions to the buyer agent clearly indicate that the pet will be kenneled in the home. Indicate specifically which room the pet will be in, so that there are no buyer surprises. Consider leaving a note in a visible location instructing visitors not to disturb them. Either way, it's never wise to try to hide your pets, as potential buyers will want to see every part of your home, including storage areas, closets, and laundry rooms.

Selling a Home with Pets

Tips for Selling Your Home with Pets

Aside from making preparations during showings, some other areas of your home also require attention. Here are some additional tips for selling your home when you have pets:

Remove All Signs of Your Pet

If you stage your home correctly, potential home buyers who tour your home won't even know an animal lives there. It's worth noting that buyers look everywhere, so simply placing your pet's belongings in the hallway closet will not be sufficient. You should pack and remove all pet-related items, including:

  • Pet food and dishes
  • Pet beds
  • Toys
  • Crates or kennels
  • Cat scratching posts and climbers
  • Leashes

Repair Pet-Related Damages

Damage done by your pets may be easy to overlook since you see it every day. However, a potential buyer will view the home with a critical eye, so even minor blemishes will stand out. Here are some repairs to consider before listing:

Exterior Repairs

  • Torn window screens
  • Pet waste
  • Damaged fencing
  • Trampled grass or bushes
  • Signs of digging in the grass

Interior Repairs

  • Ripped curtains
  • Torn or stained carpets
  • Chew or claw marks on walls, window sills, doors, and baseboards
  • Torn, scratched, or worn furniture
  • Scratched flooring

Keep Your Marketing Pet-Free

Just as it's a great idea to remove all evidence of animals before a showing, you should do the same before real estate photos are taken. With this, also be sure to avoid taking pictures of pet damage, such as torn-up lawns, ripped screens, and chew marks. These photos will be used everywhere, from Zillow to your MLS listing, so it's vital that they show your home in the best condition.

How to Sell a Home with Pets

Deep Clean and Deodorize Your Home

When preparing to sell your pet-friendly home, it is crucial to deep clean and deodorize the property in order to make a good impression on potential buyers. This may involve thoroughly cleaning and vacuuming carpets, washing all surfaces and floors, and eliminating any odors that may be present.

Pay particular attention to areas where your pets spend a lot of time, such as their bedding and crate, as these areas may accumulate more dirt and odors. You may also want to consider using air fresheners or other deodorizing products to help eliminate any lingering pet odors. By deep cleaning and deodorizing your home, you can help maximize your property's appeal to potential buyers and increase the chances of a successful sale.

Avoid Marketing Your Home as Pet-Friendly

Unless your home features permanent structures that are not easily removed, such as a chicken coop or dog run, it's never a good idea to advertise your property as pet-friendly. When pet-loving buyers come for a showing, they will decide if the home and neighborhood are pet friendly. Though pet owners will be delighted to see a fenced yard or local dog park nearby, you don't want pet-free buyers to avoid the listing because they are not concerned with pet-friendly amenities.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, selling a home with pets can present a number of challenges. Still, with careful preparation and planning, it is possible to effectively market your home while keeping your pets safe and secure. By following the tips and guidance outlined in this article, you can minimize any potential distractions or issues and maximize the value of your home during the selling process.

As a leading real estate company in Mid-Missouri, Heartland Network is here to help you every step of the way as you prepare to sell your home. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping you navigate the complex process of selling a home, including handling any challenges that may arise when you have pets.

We understand that your pets are an essential part of your family, and we will work with you to ensure that they are taken care of during the entire process. Whether you need help preparing your home for showings, finding temporary accommodations for your pets, or simply have questions about how to effectively sell your home, Heartland Network is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in the sale of your pet-friendly home.

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