7 Excellent tips to help you sell your house with pets
SELLING A HOME WITH PETS
If you’re selling a home with pets, you need a plan so you can maximize your profit. No, I’m not telling you to get rid of your pets. You know I would never do that! But, after taking viewing homes for years, the same issues regarding cats and dogs come up; so here are 7 great tips to prepare your house for sale.
Before you put that For Sale sign out, you need a plan to get your house. Plan what you will do with your beloved furry friends during showings. Make a plan and stick to it for selling your house if you have pets. It will benefit you in the long run.
If you live in a pet-friendly gated community in Boca Raton, know the pet restrictions when people ask. So often I hear, well, I’ve seen big dogs in the neighborhood. This isn’t a good answer. Find out exactly what the pet restrictions are so you can convey them to anyone who asks.
DOG ODORS IN THE HOUSE
Get a friend who has no pets to come in and do a smell test. We don’t even notice if there is an odor. Living day in and day out with our furry friends can diminish what we smell. A friend who has no pets – someone who will be brutally honest – will be able to tell so you can correct the situation.
If there is an odor, there are things you can do to help get rid of the smell. Keep in mind, although we love our pets and consider them part of our families, not everyone feels the way we do. We have to respect that. There may also be people who are allergic to pets. You can’t just order up a pet-friendly buyer – you have to prepare your house for all buyers.
Please, please do not use air freshener. Air fresheners don’t mask the smells. They also make some buyers nervous. I recently had a buyer who noticed air fresheners in every room. She turned to me and said, “it makes me wonder what they’re hiding.” Air fresheners don’t fool anyone.
CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN
Clean your house well. Have carpets, upholstered furniture, drapes and rugs professionally cleaned. Clean the floors. Wash the bedding. Clean up any pet stains and get rid of any urine smells. Urine smell is the worst! A fresh coat of paint will make any house present better to buyers.
If your dogs are allergic to chemicals, try vinegar and water for the floors. If your cat or dog sheds, you will have to take care of that daily, which means vacuuming. We don’t notice it, but a buyer will unless you happen to get a pet-friendly buyer.
When you’re done cleaning, clean some more.
MAKE NEEDED REPAIRS
If Fido chewed the baseboards as a puppy, have them repaired or replaced. If Chloe chewed the corner of the stairs or a hole in the carpet, make the necessary repairs. Don’t wait for a buyer to complain about it. If you take care of needed repairs beforehand, problem solved.
SHOWING YOUR HOUSE WITH DOGS
People often mention boarding your dogs in a kennel or with a friend until your house is sold. I’m really not comfortable with that. I like my dogs with me, as I’m sure you like yours. They’re part of our family. But, I urge you: Take the dogs out of the house for showings. I can’t stress this enough. This is crucial to selling a house with pets. Pets can be a distraction for many reasons.
Go for a walk with your dogs during showings. Put them in the car and drive around the block until the showing is over. Head over to the local dog park. Visit a friend. Whatever you do, when your house is being shown, take the dogs out. Even if it’s an inconvenience, it will benefit you in the long run.
If your pets are cute (aren’t they all?), they’re a distraction to potential buyers. I’ve seen it more often than not. If the buyers happen to be dog people looking for a pet-friendly home in Boca Raton or Boynton Beach or anywhere, they will end up playing with your dog (who is adorable) and not looking at your house (which they’re supposed to be doing! )
You want buyers to see your house, not your pets. So, please, if your’re selling your home with pets, take them out until the showing is over, or arrange for them to be out during showings.
Buyers can also be frightened of dogs. I’ve seen this happen. If a dog is barking constantly because it’s crated, this is a real distraction and buyers will hurry through the house. When selling a home with pets or without pets, you want buyers to take their time. Time to take the house in and imagine themselves living there. If they’re frightened of the dogs or distracted by the barking, it’s not a good thing and the showing will likely end on a bad note.
And then there are buyers who are highly allergic to animals. It’t not their fault, but if your house is clean, the odors gone and the dogs (and cats) are out, you should be okay.
Right before showings, bake some cookies. You know, the easy ones. Just cut up and put in the oven. Put them out on a plate in the kitchen with a note “Help Yourself” and some bottles of water. It’s a nice welcome gesture and the smell of freshly-baked cookies will be present as buyers enter your house.
PUT THE TOYS AWAY
Put the cat and dog toys away for showings. That goes for the dog beds, dog blankets and water bowls, too. Cat condos, litter boxes, whatever. Put it away. Everything. Make sure it’s away for showings.
The only exception to this is if you get a call from a pet-friendly REALTOR® who tells you up front they are bringing people who love animals. Even then, take the dogs out during showings!
If a buyer or buyer’s agent asks if there are dogs in the house, the best thing is always to disclose it. But, remember, put the dog and cat stuff away. No questions. There is also the question of liability. If, for some reason your dog were to get frightened and bite someone, there is liability. Best to check with an attorney on this one.
CLEAN THE YARD IF SELLING A HOUSE WITH DOGS
No one wants to walk in your back yard and smell or step in dog poop. Make sure all dog waste is picked up and disposed of. Check that your lawn looks manicured and neat. Get rid of any trash.
Selling a home with pets isn’t as hard as it sounds, whether in Boca Raton or Delray Beach. It’s just realizing that not everyone is a pet lover and you want to accommodate all buyers. Someone who may have been bitten as a child and has an ever-lasting fear of dogs may be afraid of your 5 lb Yorkie. You may not think it’s a big deal, but to them it may be monumental.
You just never know, so it’s best to err on the side of caution. If you’re selling your house with pets, have a plan to get your house in order and ready for sale to all potential buyers. It’s the best way to maximize your profits. I hope these 7 tips for selling your house with pets will help.
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