The dilemma of animals when selling can be hard. Pets are part of our families. Pets are residents in our homes and we love them. The only problem is not everyone loves them and when it comes to selling; any pet can leave a negative impression on buyers.
I love my pets as any pet owner should. I do try and keep on top of washing their bowls, bedding, and areas where they hang with us. My animals have quite a nice life. I am also pretty sensitive when it comes to smells. You may feel the same, but I do have to say there are lingering odors that we might get used to over the years that can be annoying for others.
Those lingering odors that we do not notice can be a huge turn-off when it comes time to sell a house. I do a lot of consults for Realtors; their goal is to help a seller move their property quickly and for the most, they can get for it. That’s why they call me in because they know presentation is really important. One thing a Realtor will always comment on are the pets in a house, and ask that I address the smell issue- even if it is faint. It’s the impression a pet leaves, which is not always as positive as we might think.
So what is a seller to do? First, make sure every surface in your house is thoroughly cleaned. Walls, ceilings, furniture, flooring, windows etc. Everything. If you cannot remove all the odors then it means replace; typically the floors are the first area to concentrate on. The next are the walls, a fresh coat of paint is worth every penny when you are selling. Having a nice neutral palette throughout your home that complements the finishes in the house helps greatly too.
Next, when you have a showing, have a plan of action as to how you are going to “remove” traces of your pet(s). That is inclusive of the bedding, animal cages, crates, litter box, food containers, and toys. It’s a lot. When you are preparing your house and editing for packing, this is a good time to do the same for your pets. Minimize the toys down to a manageable tote. The bed/cage/ crate can and should be removed from the house, possibly to the garage. The actual pet itself, maybe you have them stay at a relative’s house while you are on the market, or make sure they can hop into the car with you when there is a showing. To some, it may seem a little excessive, but I have said it before; you never want to give a buyer a reason why they do not love your home. If it is as easy as having a plan for your animal then do it.
So when selling, even if you know you are pretty “on top” of pet odors, still remove traces of them living in your house. It gives a better impression of your property; and less for the buyer’s imagination to wonder and think they “smell” something.
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