Having pets can be one of the great joys of life, but not for everyone. When selling your home, having pets can actually be a hindrance. It is important to erase all evidence of pet inhabitants as much as possible so that any foul odors or stains won’t distract your buyers. Here are some tips to help!
Keep your pets out of sight.
First and foremost, if you are still living in the house you are selling, you need to make it known that pets live in the house as well. In any private remarks or showing instructions on your listing, you should require appointments or a courtesy call so that you can put your pets in the backyard, in a crate, or in a room with the door shut. It shouldn’t matter whether or not your pet is the friendliest or quietest pet in the world. Not all buyers are going to be animal lovers. Some buyers might even be scared of your big dog or slinking cat. Or, even worse, some buyers might be allergic to your pet and will be too busy sneezing and rubbing their watery eyes to really get a look at your home. So, as much as you love your pets, they should be out of sight whenever buyers come to visit.
One of the best ways to keep odors to a minimum is to use baking soda, a natural odor absorber. Keep an open box out on the counter. You can even sprinkle some baking soda on fabrics and carpet or rugs. Sprinkle a little bit on any foul-smelling fabrics and then wipe clean or vacuum up. Another great way to eliminate odors is to change and clean your home’s HVAC filters regularly, since odors can get trapped in those filters and then circulate through your home. In general, try not to focus on covering up odors with air fresheners or candles. The trick here is to eliminate and neutralize. Other scents that you introduce in your home may be equally offensive to buyers or those scents will just mix with the pet odors that already exist. Avoid this at all costs.
Remove stains and pet hair.
Pets shed a lot, can be dirty, and are prone to accidents. Your carpet may show the history of your pets’ house-training days or rainy day adventures. Wipe down walls that your pets frequently rub up against, use stain removers on carpets and rugs, and vacuum frequently to remove pet hair. Consider using a wet vac to really give your carpets a good cleaning after vacuuming. If carpets are too far-gone, replace them. By cleaning or updating your carpets, you might even help with eliminating a lot of the odor. Also, if your walls are especially bad, painting can help with this issue as well.
Overall, you want to give buyers the impression of a pristine home.