Both Denver and Colorado Springs made the list for Best US Cities for dogs. And with over 30% of households having either a cat or dog or both, it is likely someone shopping for a home is going to view a pet friendly home. However, not everyone is sympathetic to animals, and they may even have allergies to them.
“…on average, pets cause the equivalent of $1,120 damage to their household per year [source: McIver]… Another real estate agent estimated the value of a home drops $30,000 when a buyer finds out the home was shared with pets [source: Tuttle].”
This can become a problem when selling a home is all about the numbers game. The more people who see it, the better the chance to sell. And the better it shows, the more money will be offered. When prospective buyers see the images of your home online, they know if they want to see the house and they schedule a showing. Once they get to the house and see its curb appeal (or lack thereof), they know if they want to go in and look further. If they have made it this far, when they open that front door to walk in, they shouldn’t smell pet odors or see dirty floors.
And whether or not the potential buyer is a pet lover or not, a house has never sold for more because the current owner has pets. And no matter how nice the house is, if there is a perception that the home is dirty or damaged, it won’t sell as quickly, or at the price desired. A fresh coat of paint and clean floors can go a long way in resolving the issue.
Selling a home with pets: Exterior Appearance
Part of the curb appeal is seeing the condition of the lawn and fence. Some pets will damage landscaping, leaving holes or patches in the grass or destroying shrubbery. Others may have damaged the fence, decking, or other barriers. Before the prospective client goes into the home, they can see these things, and to them, it becomes the first sign that they will need to do work.
Make any exterior repairs and stage the home to remove signs of pets including hiding or moving food, beds, toys, litter boxes, feeding bowls and more. When showing the house, make sure these items won’t negatively influence a potential buyer. Most buyers are more attracted to a neutral space where they can “see” themselves in the home, so make that easy for them.
Selling a home with pets: Interior Appearance
Many times, as a pet owner, you may have gone “nose blind” to the way your home smells. Ask a trusted friend to come over and give an opinion. Additionally, if there is pet hair everywhere or pet waste that hasn’t been cleaned up, people who don’t have pets will pick up that quickly. Be sure to take care of those things before any showing.
Keep the house as clean as possible during the showing processes, focusing on keeping your house pet smell free. If you have more than one pet or your pet(s) tend to shed, consider getting the ducts, carpets and upholstery cleaned before the first showing. Don’t forget area rugs and known areas where your pets may have marked or soiled the carpet. Clean tiled or non-carpeted areas near doorways that your pet has used. Many times dog hair will hide near baseboards, and someone with pet allergies will likely be affected.
Remember spot treating the carpet will not always help eliminate the odor as urine can saturate the carpet, padding and even subfloor. After the carpets have been cleaned, consider crating your pet, have them stay with a trusted friend or family member, or, when appropriate, stay outside during the showings.
For touch ups before a showing, use duct tape, a damp rubber glove, or a roller to remove any fur that may have attached itself to furniture. Light an odor neutralizing candle, scented product or spray in areas that may have a lingering smell.