Home Selling with Pets Around
By Sadiya Anjum
Home selling can be a highly emotional experience for some; try telling them that their pets can get in the way of the successful sale of their home. Despite how much you may love your pet, know that home selling is business – you want to make the best deal possible. It is a temporary situation and can be even shorter if you keep pets out of the way.
It may seem hard to imagine why anyone would not like their adorable pets. But understand reality: not everyone is comfortable with animals and most harbor feelings of fear. Even if your pet is extremely friendly, his jumping on a stranger will not be received very kindly.
When you put your home up for sale, the ideal solution is to board your pet and then prepare your home for sale. If this is not a solution, then take appropriate measures to keep the pet out of the way during a home showing.
When it comes to preparing your home for sale, you must deal with the damage your pets have caused. Odors generally perforate any home where pets stay. A home with a nasty smell will immediately put a buyer off. Deodorize your home; but avoid air fresheners. Keep it natural by opening out windows and letting in as much fresh air as possible. Ask a friend to check for any odors that may still exist. Bathe and groom your pets as often as possible to keep them as well as the home clean.
Stains can again be a huge problem with pets around. There are several strong cleaning products available that can get rid of the toughest stains. Enzyme cleaners are proven to very effective. Shampoo your carpets or better still, hire a professional to clean it. If your carpet or some other item is in bad condition, it may be cheaper to just replace it or remove it instead of trying to fix it.
Vacuuming almost everyday is important when your home has been listed. Carpets can be vacuumed with an odor deodorizer. Any scratches on wood surfaces can be eliminated with the help of fine sandpaper and a filler to touch it up. When you take such great efforts to clean up the place, it will not help if your pets continue to cause damage. Start out with small rules for them such as not allowing them to sleep on couches or beds. Make a comfortable bed exclusively for your pet which he can enjoy.
Cleaning up the damage is only the first step but you have to continue to maintain the condition of your home. When a buyer comes over, you need to take a lot of other precautions. Send your pet away to a friend’s place or animal daycare during the showing. Leaving them running around will distract your buyer even if he is crazy about animals. Locking a pet in a room or a garage may be terrible if the pet is not used to this – noises, whining and other such distractions can be easily expected. But if you absolutely cannot send your pet away, put your pet in a cage or a carrier.
State laws may require a seller to disclose if any pets have lived on the property. But you should not have to ruin the first impression on your buyer. Remove all signs that hint towards your pets’ existence – trays, litter boxes, toys, even photographs of your pets, etc. Buyers may automatically start to over-scrutinize the home for any stains, scratches and damages.
If you have an agent, then listen to his suggestions as they may only help you sell your home better and faster. If a buyer has a nasty experience with pets in your home, very soon word may spread. Ultimately it will devalue your home. This is not action against pets; this is about being practical and smart. It does not mean that you are treating your pet badly; just find other ways to keep him happy and away from your carpets and buyers.
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