You love you pets and so does the rest of the neighborhood. However, when it comes time to sell your home, you shouldn't expect the same of those interested in your property. While it is difficult for some homeowners to understand the negative perceptions about pets held by some prospective buyers, you should try to make your home as appealing as possible to everyone who walks through the door. Before showing your home, consider some of these steps to minimize the impact of pets and potentially maximize interest from prospective buyers.
Before showing your home to buyers, you should try to remove all signs of your pets. Start by putting away any food and water bowls, pet toys and litter boxes. If your dogs use a doggie door to get in and out of your home, consider replacing or sealing up the door. If you keep photos of you and your pets on display, pack the images away when prospective buyers are in your home. Lastly, if you have any items that are too big to hide - like cages or dog carriers - find a discreet storage location in the garage or outside the home.
To ensure that you don't offend the eyes (or noses) of prospective buyers, you may want to devote extra time to cleaning your home. If you have cats or dogs that roam freely in the home, start by vacuuming the entire house. Next, as most pet-loving homes have a carpet stain or two, consider hiring a professional cleaner to get rid of the offending spots. If you find any stains that cannot be removed, you may want to replace the carpet or flooring before showing your home. To remove the last whiffs of pet smell from your home, avoid air fresheners (some of your guests may have allergies) and try using a heavy-duty enzyme cleaner. When you are confident in your cleaning, ask a friend or extended family member to inspect for stains and smells before showing the home.
Ideally, homeowners may want to try relocating their pets while their home is on the market. Rather than keeping your four-legged loved ones locked up in the garage, consider asking your friends and family to help out. If you can't find anyone with the ability to watch your pets, you may need to consider using a nearby kennel. While this might be incredibly difficult to do - for pet and pet owner alike - this step could go a long way towards helping prospective buyers feel comfortable in your home. By keeping your pets out of your home while it is on the market you will be able to minimize the impact they've had on the property and avoid any mishaps with prospective buyers. However, if you can't bear to part with your pets while your home is on the market, you should still try to remove your furry friends during open houses and tours.
While there may be plenty of pet-friendly homebuyers that visit your open house, it is important not to offend anyone who looks at your home. In fact, even some pet owners might be turned off by the presence of your pets. After all, plenty of pet owners believe their own animals to be cleaner and better behaved than anyone else's. Hence, when it comes time to show your home to prospective homebuyers, you should try your best to minimize your pets' impact.