You want to make a fabulous first impression when buyers come to see your home. Serious buyers are instinctively looking for negatives; every bad thing in their mind equals a decreased value.
You’ve spruced, picked up, and cleaned. You’ve cut the grass, pulled the weeds, and planted new flowers. Your last chore is to de-pet your home.
First off, read Prevent “Pet-itis” When Selling Your Home. It’s a fact: if your house smells like pets, you’re not going to sell it. Be sure the inside smells as good as it looks.
Next, go outside and remove any evidence that a pet lives in your home (a.k.a., pet poo). The last thing you want is for an excited buyer to step in a nasty surprise while walking around your yard.
While a buyer is visiting your home, have all your pets incognito. Fido, Fluffy and Polly must be away from the property. This is very important, and sellers can botch a sale by having their pets ‘meet and greet’ buyers. The future owner of your home may hate pets, be terrified of being attacked, or be allergic. They may believe that animals should not be in the home. Pack them up in your vehicle and go for a drive, or visit family. If your lifestyle makes it impossible to be there to remove your pets, consider letting your pet grandpa or auntie arrange a long-term visit while selling your home.
Remove all food dishes, doggie beds, kitty toys, bones, pet food, etc. during the visit. Pack them in the trunk of your car, or put them inside a dog crate in the garage or closet and cover the crate.
Proper pet preparation takes time and patience. The things you do to ensure your pets stay safe and out of the way is well worth the effort.
Your home is ready to become an Active listing that’s For Sale. You’ve straightened, de-cluttered, tidied, painted, and fixed-up all rooms and are ready for a fast sale.
There’s just one little problem.
You house smells.
You might not even notice it. Fido and Fluffy are the culprits, and you might be used to their unique aroma. Prospective buyers, however, will beat a hasty retreat when they get a whiff of your animal’s odor.
Your future sale looks bleak as buyers scatter to other homes and your sales price is reduced. Fido and Fluffy have become the biggest obstacle to you happy home sale.
Here are a few quick tips to prevent your pets from becoming Enemy No. 1:
- Test your home: bring in a friend or two to do an informal sniff test.
- Deal with stains or ‘accidents’ as soon as they happen. Stains often occur on, under, or near your pet’s potty areas. Use water or mild detergent for starters
- If a stain is permanent, bring in a professional to remove it. If a stain can’t be treated, consider replacing floor coverings in the area.
- Keep animal restrooms spotless. Change litter boxes and clean up back yards often.
- Keep litter boxes and potty pads out of sight.
- Deal with stains or ‘accidents’ as soon as they happen.
- Don’t rely on air fresheners, candles, or incense to cover up foul smells. It doesn’t work, and many people are put off or even allergic to many of these products.
- Keep pet dander and hair off of rugs, beds, furniture, and clothing. Your sweeper is your best friend.
- Use an old towel or throw rug in the area where your pets sleep. Animals love their own smell and take comfort in their favorite spot.
- For detailed odor elimination, go to The Humane Society of the United States and search for ‘pet odors’.
Follow these tips and your home will smell fresh and clean. Happy selling!