Everyone seems to have some form of a pet these days…

Everyone seems to have some form of a pet these days, whether it be a dog, cat, reptile or rodent. Pet owners love their fur babies, consider them members of the family and ferociously defend them. That is noble and honorable, but it can be expensive if you are trying to sell your house. The question is, what do you do with your pet during showings? This can be a difficult situation especially if you work full time. If you are fortunate enough to have a family member or neighbor available to take them during a showing, that helps. If not, you may need to run home and take them out or crate them during the showing.

According to a study conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 67 percent of REALTORS® said pet ownership has a “moderate to major” impact when selling a home. How do you keep beloved pets from costing you a small fortune when you sell your house? Do not panic; there are ways to remedy the problem.

Pet owners become “eye blind” and “nose blind” to the evidence their pets leave in and around the house. They don’t notice the scratched walls on the porch or the chewed stair railing. They don’t notice the holes dug in the yard or the bald patches in the flowerbeds. But potential buyers do notice; in fact, many are specifically looking for such things when touring a property. There are steps you can take to minimize the negative impression pets have on potential homebuyers. Most of the steps probably are not ways you want to spend your free time, and you may need to hire a professional for some of them, but they will help you in the selling process.

Clean out the litter boxes, hide the pet pads and scoop the yard. No one wants to see or smell any of that. Look at your floors, do they have pet stains or scratches? Have the carpets professionally cleaned or refinish the floors. Avoid air fresheners because some people are allergic to these. If you are going to deodorize the home on your own, try natural cleaners instead. Ask a friend to “preview” your home and give you an honest opinion of its condition.

Have your home professionally treated for fleas and ticks; if you have pets in the home, you may have these critters in the house. You will want to put this at the top of your list, not just for selling your home but for your pet’s safety, too.

As a REALTOR®, we want to know if there is a pet in the house, so we aren’t surprised during a showing. Even if we know they are there, it sometimes is a shock to open a door and find them in the cage in front of you. I am speaking from experience. You can ask your REALTOR® to give you advance notice before showings to allow time to make necessary arrangements.

The goal is to sell your home and if it has a pet smell, it won’t sell. Have a great week! Remember to do good things!

Stephanie Lemley, 2021 MBOR President