Most homeowners have pets. So do most home buyers. However, if you are trying to sell your home it’s best if no one knows you have pets at all. Buyers don’t want to see them, smell them, hear them and especially gaze upon their lawn land mines. However, we love our animals like they are our children so what do we do? Since you only have one chance to make a great first impression, I’ve put together some items to consider taking care of before you put your home on the market.
1) Clean up the poop. You’d think that this one is a no-brainer, but it apparently is not. It amazes me at how many homes have pet poop all over the yard. If your home has a yard, the buyer is most likely looking for a place that their kids can enjoy. A field of feces is not a selling attribute unless you’re trying to sell the house down the road. Hire a local company to handle it if you need to. Once it’s all up, sprinkle some lime on the areas to kill the smell. Then just make it a daily habit of picking it up so that it doesn’t become an issue again.
2) Paint damaged trim or scratched door jams. This is an easy fix (usually) but reaps TONS of rewards. Scratched trim makes any house look worn and tired.
3) If your home smells like pets (cats are the worst) then you will need to paint and most likely replace the carpet, pad and seal the subfloor. While the subfloor is exposed you should paint it with Killz, Zircon or a similar industrial primer and sealant. This will prevent any odors from reoccurring after you’ve spent good money on flooring. If your floors squeak, now is a good time to add additional screws also.
4) Add curb appeal by touching up the yellow spots in the yard. There are some great products at your local hardware store that perform wonderfully.
5) Throw away the old pet pillow and get a new one. You may have grown accustomed to that odor, but visitors don’t associate it with furry happiness. They think it stinks. This also goes for an old couch, chair or other pieces of furniture that have been marked by your animal. Since you plan to move, just get it out of the house early.
6) Keep the cat box clean. If your cat has a tendency to kick the sand and poop out of his/her litter box you will need to get a better cat box or find a place for the cat. A dirty cat box will cost you thousands of dollars in lost buyers. No joke. I have never seen a buyer make an offer on a home that had a filthy cat box when we were viewing it.
7) If your animal makes a lot of noise you should get it out of the house for showings. If you don’t have anyone you can trust to assist you then look into an animal daycare. Create a tranquil environment that makes them feel at home. I once tried, unsuccessfully, to sell a house that was inhabited by uncaged vicious cockatoos that would attack unless the owner was there to calm them. They couldn’t have given that house away.
Depending on the pet, you may have other issues. The best thing for you to do is to call your Realtor and have them walk through the house and look at as if they were a buyer. They may not tell you what you like to hear, but they will tell you what you need to do to sell your home.
Cross and Associates Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty