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Pet Peeves: How to Keep Your Pets From Soiling Your Home Sale

Pet Peeves: How to Keep Your Pets From Soiling Your Home Sale

They love to cuddle. They’re perfect companions. They’re as cute as can be. The list of reasons that you love your pet could go on for days. So, when you’re trying to sell your home, the last thing you may want to hear is “your pets have got to go.”

Of course, you don’t literally need to abandon your pets when you put your home on the market, but pets can make it very tricky to market your home in the best and most attractive way. The coldest reality is that while you couldn’t dream of being without your pet, there are buyers out there who don’t want to dream of a pet in their prospective new home.

Their reasons may vary, but here are a just a few facts that might make you consider keeping Fido and Fluffy away when prospective buyers come your way:

1. Pets are unpredictable. As faithful and loyal as your pets are to you and your family, you never can be sure how they may act around a stranger. To them, the nice, prospective buyers who are knocking at your door or ringing your door bell could pose a potential threat. Don’t let that ferocious bark be the first impression your prospective buyer gets.

2. Your pet is not the buyer’s pet. Even the biggest animal lover will admit being partial to their own pet. So, that is one strike against your pet when buyers come to see your home. They may not have preconceived notions about your pet, but they may already think that their pet is more well-behaved, more friendly and less threatening than yours.

3. Pets are a distraction. OK, so maybe your pet could win over a prospective buyer. But, if a buyer spends their entire showing interacting with your pet, what will they remember about your home… your pet. Unless you’re willing to negotiate your pet into the sale of your home, it is best for them to never meet. That way, buyers can spend their entire time admiring your home instead of swooning over your pet.

4. Buyers may be afraid of pets. As silly as it may sound, leaving your pet at home during a showing could actually scare away a buyer. For a number of different reasons, some people are afraid of pets. If even the most interested buyer has a pet phobia, they may never work up the courage to see your home if your pets are there. The same goes for exotic pets. You may like to keep a reptile or other creepy creature caged up in your home, but a prospective buyer may not share the love. Don’t let your buyers slither away in fear.

5. Pets make some people sick. You probably know someone who has an allergy to pet hair; so, it only makes sense that some prospective buyer may come along with the same allergy. Whether your pet is home or not, their dander is scattered throughout your home. To someone with a pet allergy, this could be a major turnoff.

If you have pets and want to make sure they don’t leave a negative impression during your home sale process, the number one thing you can do is (ugh, cover your ears) have your animal family members stay with friends or family while your home is on the market. It may seem drastic, but what if your agent calls you up for a last-minute showing when you’re not even home and you have no way to move your pet out before the prospective buyers arrive?

There are also other things that pet owners can do to prep for a successful home sale:

1. Hide the evidence. You know the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” The same goes for your pet’s essentials. Before every showing or open house, make sure you hide your pet’s litter box, potty pad, toys, cages, carriers and food and water dishes.

2. Clean and clean again. In addition to keeping your home majorly organized during the sales process, when pets are involved, it is important to keep your home impeccably clean. Consider having your carpets professionally cleaned before putting your home on the market and try to decoratively cover any stains that don’t come out. Vacuum religiously to keep pet hair constantly under control.

3. Perform a sniff test. But, don’t do it yourself. Ask an unbiased friend or neighbor to stop by and see if they can smell any pet odors in your home. If they can, see #2 above. Do not try to hide odors with fragrant air fresheners that may overpower your entire home.

Remember, loving your pets is all about giving them the best care. It is not fair to keep your pet cooped up in a closet or in the basement while prospective buyers are touring through your home. Not only could that cause your pet undue anxiety, but it also will restrict buyers from seeing those spaces. Keep your pets and prospective buyers happy by making proper arrangements for them both.