We understand what it is like having fur babies, and the stress it can cause on you and them when selling your home. Our loveable four-legged friends all bring with them extra toys, dishes, hair, and smell. Here are a few tips to ease the stress and also save you money when selling your home.
Get the pets out of the house for all showings.
You may need to get creative on this one. Hire a dog walker, come home on your break, start "take your pet to work day", drop them off at a pet daycare or spa.
The important step is to remove them from the home. Why?
Selling and moving are stressful for everyone. Your cat or dog may show signs of stress that you haven't noticed before. Sometimes they may act out aggressively towards strangers entering their home (den, lair). Even the"friendliest" dog or cat can become aggressive when strangers enter the home. Needless to say, this is NOT the first welcoming impression you're striving for. So pack them up as often as you can. If the one key thing buyers remember is the crazy attack cat or a dog barking, your odds of selling just went down along with your asking price.
What do I do with my dog, can I leave him/her in a crate, the garage, the yard?
Not recommended, see above. We also recommend you pick up all evidence you have a dog or cat.
Remove Your Pet's Stuff and Have a Pickup and Clean-up Plan.
If your house is like mine, you have dog/cat beds, a cat tree, a cardboard box on the floor for the cat to hang out in, dog dishes, a water fountain, bones, chew toys etc. Survey your home, and eliminate the extra toys. We all tend to have more toys for our kids (2 legs or 4) than they really need. Purge the duplicates, and keep the favourites. Then grab a large tote or laundry hamper. Prior to showings, place all of the pet items in the laundry basket, hide the basket in a closet, or in the garage. You’ll find it easy to pull it back out having stored them in one convenient place.
Open floor plans sell homes. If buyers have to tiptoe over items on the floor, squeeze into a room past a cat tree, or can't stand to be in the room for more than a few seconds because of strong litter box odour, or the dog bed smell is overwhelming, then you're losing out on a potential sale or your purchase price will reflect the negative experience.
Repair or Replace the Damage.
We understand as cats and dog owners ourselves. Our furry family members will scratch, claw, and rub against, walls, cabinets, and baseboards. When buyers see the damage they will always exaggerate the cost to fix. This will be reflected in the offer price, or even later if they negotiate after a home inspection. Addressing as many items beforehand will save you thousands of dollars.
Remove Smells and Stains.
Your house stinks. There we said it. As homeowners with Cats &/or Dogs we forget our furry loved ones bring with them oily fur, pet odour, pet farts, poopy litter boxes, and ammonia urine stench. You may clean weekly, scoop daily, but the STUFF and the places the little four-legged ones sleep and hang out have residual odours that you may not even notice anymore.
Do NOT run out and spray the house with Air Fresheners. As a Realtor, the first thing we think of when there is a strong air freshener or essential oil diffuser is ... "What are they hiding?". That is not the first impression you want, nor any impression.
For you, it may be nothing. For others, it’s a huge turn-off and will cost you more in negotiations than it is worth. Wash the pet bed prior to listing, or purchase a new one. Wash down the walls and baseboards where your pet sleeps and rubs against often., Their oils stick to surfaces and not only look dirtier or more work, but they also have an odour. Litter Boxes and puppy pads should be cleaned daily, if not morning and night, with fresh litter topped up.
Fix the Yard.
Is your yard a yellow burnt grass maze thanks to your sweet pup? Looking at the image above, it's pretty easy to identify which yard has a dog.
Do you have a busy dog who loves to dig? Who wants to buy a house or yard that is a project?
Only those looking for a deal. The rest of us, well, we don’t want to inherit someone else's project and “buy” work to do. If I’m taking on your work, I’ll want a discount. This goes hand in hand with repairing damage in the house. Plan a weekend work party and fix the patches, and seed the burns. Your house will sell faster and for more money in the long run. Curb appeal doesn’t stop at the front yard, it also shines and pays off in the backyard.
Other than selling in the winter so the buyers only see snow, we recommend repairing and overseeding grass, replacing chewed-up items, and filling in holes. Scooping the land mines shouldn't need mentioning but a reminder... scoop the poop.