As a profound pet lover, this is tough for me to write because pets, as much as everyone may love them, are not considered a contributing factor in selling a house. They may not add value to the property you are trying to get others to love. Think of it this way, it is hard enough to try to get the full listing price without pets being involved.
This, by no means, should cause you to surrender or rehome your pets. Pets are living, breathing, thinking beings that are part of your family so just being a little more attentive or mindful of their lives should do the trick. Here is a short list that may help you reduce the environmental footprint that you animal(s) leave in your property.
Toys. Cats, dogs, snakes, hamsters, etc. all have their little toys/belongings and love to leave them at any and every possible location around your house. This may be a feat in itself but you have to try to get their toys to be placed in a neat and orderly pile in something that could be considered cute or aesthetically pleasing. We all know what really happens in these situations, we all end up doing the mad dash to find any and all toys and throw them into a closet or under something. I suggest getting a cute basket that is NOT chewed or beaten and then throw all of their favorite toys there.
Litter Box. GROSS right?! Well, EVERYONE will think so, so make it disappear for showings. At least move it or them into the garage for the showings.
Yard. Clean your yard. If it takes you to put on a chemical or rubberized suit with gloves and boots, then get ‘er done! People may walk your yard to see if it is suitable for their needs. Nothing will kill a showing faster than having a potential buyer step in a pile of POO. Again, GROSS!
Relocate Your Animals. AGAIN, this does not mean that you need to surrender your animals to animal control or rehome them. This means that when YOU leave (because it is considered good practice for the sellers to not be at a house during showings), TAKE YOUR FUR (or without fur) BABIES with you! DO NOT LEAVE THEM THERE TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES!
Remove Odors and Stains. If this is a major task then you have more problems than this article will help with. Odors are there and you may not be able to clearly understand them as well as you should because you are used to the smells. This means that you should light candles, spray deodorizers, etc. Walk out of your house and walk back in about 5 minutes later. If there is any scent, then you still have odors. If you think it smells “normal” then you should get a second opinion RIGHT AWAY and then get a doctor’s appointment.
Pets are awesome and are part of your family but remember, they are part of YOUR family not part of the property for sale. I have seen a home that was for sale by owner (FSBO) where the sellers made it a point to say that the cat will stay with the HOME. That is NOT really an option because animals are NOT property! Try to remember, to get top dollar for your home it needs to be as good as possible. Animals do not add value to your property but they do add value to your family’s wellbeing.
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