7 Tips to Sell a Home with Pets

by | Apr 27, 2017 | Home, Home Selling, Home Staging, Staging

When it comes time to sell a home with pets home sellers tend to overlook the not only their fur balls presence, but all the mishaps they may have made in the home. I’m one homeowner who loves pets in fact Sal and I have three cats (1 lives outside still), two dogs and a homing pigeon. 
As I’m writing this post I have to admit something…I have our female cat Tigz, whose’s been living with us since 2012, ruining the floor in my office. For the past month or so she’s been going to the bathroom on the floor, rather than the litter box.
While, we first recognized this as a behavioral problem, we soon realized she had blood in her urine. Now, maybe this was a miracle in disguise but we discovered she had a large stone in her bladder. Glad to report she was operated on earlier this week and is doing well –hopefully this solves the litter box issue, but unfortunately the damage on our floors have already been done.

sell a home with pets

Tigz at the Howard Beach Animal Clinic after her surgery.

Why am I admitting to this story to you because in my opinion animal homes get lived in twice as much as homes without an animal. Having an animal in a home isn’t necessarily the problem it’s when the owner fails to clean up and maintain the home that has pet problems. So, rather wait until that one day when we sell the house and just live with the smell (which many homeowners do by the way) we always take immediate action to eliminate the problem.  
Now, I love animals and am a forgiving pet owner but, according to the Humane Society, more than half of homeowners don’t own pets, making it clear that not every buyer is going to be animal friendly (or as forgiving). I can understand why buyers may be hesitant about moving into an animal house, just smelling the urine odor in my office has me floored.
If you have animals living in your home while on the market here are some tips to selling a home with pets.

Pet Odors

Sticking with the stank, pet smells are a huge turn off for buyers. If your pets have urinated on your carpet do as I do and hire a professional carpet cleaning service, however, if it still smells you will need to replace the carpet or flooring (sometimes even down to the sub floor to remove the odor).
Litter boxes are another place an odor can linger, don’t forget to stay on top of litter boxes by cleaning them every other day. I splurged and got a great litter box called The Scoop Free Automatic Litter Box it scoops away the contents and contains the smell for days at a time. You can also use Fresh Wave Odor Neutralizing Super Gel, safe for people and pets by using five essential oils to neutralize unwanted odor. 
Another way to reduce odor is to bath your animals, we wash the dogs at least once a month so their odor doesn’t transfer into the upholstery in the room.

Red is our newest fur baby and loves to work with me.

 Pet Hair

Beside odors, pet hair is one of the biggest problems controlling on the inside. Homeowners should vacuum their house daily while on the market to stay on top of the hair. Dyson DC25 Animal Vacuum is amazing it not only promotes cleaner air but the vacuum doesn’t lose suction and they have an attachment specifically to remove hair from your pet. Don’t forget to vacuum the furniture as well. There is also The FURminator it removes your pet’s undercoat and can reduce shedding by 90-percent.

Get Their Nails Done

Don’t forget to trim their nails often to avoid scratches on your wood floors, carpet or furniture. Pedi Paws is one of the safest ways to cut their nails without hurting them.

Whitey the homing pigeon loves to play around.

Fix Minor Repairs

If your animals have broken items around the home fix any repairs your animals may have made, like chewing moldings, scratching walls or breaking screens. To avoid any more destruction of your home while your away give them  The Kong, it’s a rubbery toy that stores treats and will keep your pets entertained for hours rather than have them play with your shoes, wood or furniture. 

Yard Toilet

Curb appeal is top priority during the selling process and when your 4-legged friend decides to use your front lawn as their bathroom, brown spots can appear. Using your yard, as a toilet is a huge no-no too, you need to start walking your pets, especially when showing because if a buyer steps in dog-doo-doo while walking through your backyard I wouldn’t necessarily expect an offer. Not to mention the chemical balance of dog urine burns the grass. While watering the grass often deters stubborn spots, you can also use Dogonit (the cure) to help repair your grass. 

Coco and Sasha with a friend! Coco is too old to walk distances so we put him in a pet stroller.

Remove Your Pets

The key to selling your home with pets is you should always remove all pets items (leashes, cages, food bowls, toys, etc.), as well as, remove your pet when a showing is scheduled.
I understand when homeowners are hesitant about removing their pets during the home selling process. It’s hard to see past the hairy couch where they cuddle up next to you while watching your favorite show, those chewed-up spots on your molding during their teething phase, or toys flung all over the place after playing fetch. This tip though is crucial to the selling process and is a liability if you leave the pet in the home.

Photo Evidence

It would be a shame to take all of these steps, but still have evidence an animal lives in your home through your MLS pictures, so make sure your Realtor or you, photograph your home without your loved ones striking a pose. 
Need more home staging tips to get your home prepared for sale? Grab a copy of our NEW book “Feel At Home Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell.” Are you an animal lover or not? Let me know in the comments below and if buying a pet home would bother you!
Happy Selling,

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~ Maria Robbins, Homeowner