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Helpful tips on how to sell a home where pets have lived

Cozy sleeping cat with its human

We all love our pets, but let’s face it – selling a home with pets can be a challenge.

In this page, we give you a few helpful tips for selling your home as a pet owner:

What’s the problem with pets?

A home that was previously occupied by pets make some prospective buyers uncomfortable. They want to imagine themselves living in a home, which can be difficult if there are any traces of dogs or cats around. Even a slight whiff of a litter box or a clump of fur on the floor could ruin the entire showing. 

Not everyone has experience owning a pet, and some people simply don’t like having animals around, even if they’re friendly. Even homebuyers who are pet owners themselves might imagine other pets biting, clawing, coughing up hairballs, or doing other nasty things that are never done by their own pets.

Preparing your home for a showing

One option to consider is to temporarily relocate your pets when you need to prepare your home for a showing. You could keep them in the backyard, garage, or in a separate room if you don’t have any choice, but keep in mind that it might be too distracting for prospective buyers.

Some options available include:

  • Ask a friend or relative to watch over your pets
  • Take them to pet spa or pet hotel
  • Board them at a kennel
  • Take them to work with you (if your workplace will allow it)
  • Take them to a park or somewhere else while your home is being viewed

Removing the evidence

You can scour your home for any traces of your pets as you organize and declutter items to prepare for a showing. Keep all pet toys, cages, dog beds, litter boxes, food/water bowls and other accessories out of sight.

If a real estate photographer is scheduled to take photos of your home, make sure there are zero pet accessories appearing on the photos. Some buyers will quickly scroll past a listing if they see any evidence of pets in the photos.

Deodorize your home

Your sense of smell will grow accustomed to any pet odors in your home, especially if they’ve been there for years. There’s a good chance you will no longer detect pet smells in your home the same way a buyer will once they set foot in your home.

Some people will recommend simply masking pet odors with scented candles or artificial scents. This is a bad idea, as some people are sensitive to strong perfumes, and it might mix with the underlying odors, creating a more unpleasant scent.

A better option is to eliminate any existing odors by spraying upholstery, rugs, and fabrics with enzyme cleaners and special pet deodorizers designed to neutralize these type of odors.

You can also consider hiring professional cleaners to have your textiles and fabrics cleaned thoroughly – a surefire way to eliminate odors, albeit more expensive.

Repair any damage caused by pets

Scratches on walls or doors, bite marks on furniture legs, and damaged curtains might seem minor, but they can might tip-off potential buyers and cause them to wonder if there might be some more hidden damage caused by pets. Examine every nook and cranny of your home to search for any damage caused by pets, so you can make necessary repairs or move damaged items completely out of sight.

You can make use of putty or food filler and a little paint to fix scratches on wood floors or door frames. Coconut oil and walnut rubbed against scratched furniture and wooden surfaces is also effective.

In case your home has hardwood floors with severe damage, you might need to hire a professional to sand and refinish, which is a good investment as it can boost your home’s value. 

Deep clean

Deep cleaning is essential even if you don’t own any pets. We often neglect key parts of our homes such as baseboards, walls, and floors over time. Again, you can save money by opting for the DIY route, or hire a professional cleaner to make sure everything’s spotless.

Make sure all curtains, comforters, pillows and pillow covers, bedsheets, furniture slipcovers are washed thoroughly, as these items easily absorb pet odors. If you have carpeted floors, getting these steam cleaned professionally is your best bet, as it will completely remove any traces of odors, along with stains and stray hairs.  

Planning to sell your home in Los Angeles? Get in touch with me today at 818.444.7700, or send an email to arman(at)armangrigoryan(dotted)com