Having pets in your home shouldn’t preclude you from a successful sale.
Does having a dog or cat in your house while it’s on the market affect its saleability? In my opinion, yes, but here are a few suggestions to help you sell a home while having pets:
1. Neutralize the house the best you can. Remember that you get to decide when buyers actually go inside your property. Lisa and I have previously sold homes that had dogs and cats living in them, so we know that when you have animals, they’ll probably leave unwanted messes on the carpet every once in a while, and it’s important to take away those buyer objections. Also, get rid of any food/water bowls, toys, litter boxes, and clean the cat litter closet so there’s no evidence that animals live in the house. You want to set the stage when buyers walk through the door and, as I mentioned, take away any objections they may have.
2. On showing days, remove your pets from the house. I know this isn’t always possible, especially if you’re at work and somebody wants to see your home. Sometimes we see sellers leave their dogs in a kennel or leave a note saying that their cat is in the house somewhere. It just depends on your situation. In a perfect scenario, though, I always say remove any animals from the house. I’ve been to showings with buyers who refused to take a good look at a house because a dog was inside and they were more concerned about that. Seeing this made me concerned enough to share this advice with my seller clients. If there’s any way you can get your pets out of the house during a showing, do it.
3. Have a friend, family member, or your Realtor do a sniff test of your home. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing that your house smells like an animal lives there, but other people might not find it very pleasant. If it does, shampoo the carpet, clean the floors the best you can, and stick some scented plugins into the walls.
4. Remove dog waste from the yard. Buyers will want to take a look around, and if they see a bunch of droppings scattered about, that’s a big-time negative.
Here’s the thing: Even with animals, you can make your house look amazing. You’re not trying to lie to buyers. You’re just trying to neutralize the house as much as possible so that when they come, you’re setting a positive stage instead of a negative one.
If you’d like to know more about getting your house in the best shape possible so you sell for top dollar, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you in any way I can.