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Tips for Selling a Home when You Have Pets​

Edie Israel

After years of executive sales and marketing experience as well as entrepreneurial success, Edie entered into the real estate market of Southern Calif...

After years of executive sales and marketing experience as well as entrepreneurial success, Edie entered into the real estate market of Southern Calif...

Oct 29 4 minutes read

Selling a home while you’re living there is challenging under ideal circumstances. Between staging the home, keeping it spotless and wrangling the kids every time someone schedules a showing, it can seem like a never-ending battle. When you have pets, however, the challenges increase exponentially. 

How Pets Can Hinder Your Home Sale 

Some homeowners are “dog people” while others are “cat people.” But, as inconceivable as it may be to pet owners, some people aren’t “pet people” at all. In fact, some potential buyers may be truly averse to animals. 

The reasons for animal aversion range from allergies to germ phobias to simple dislike. But whatever the underlying reason, the presence of your pets can turn these potential buyers off quickly. 

Even the pet smells that may seem normal to you can make potential home buyers uneasy. If their noses detect the odor of dogs or cats, they’ll often go into detective mode, looking for the urine stains on the rug or chew marks on the woodwork. 

Practice Good Petiquette When Selling Your Home 

Your friends and family may not mind if Fido jumps on them with muddy paws or Fluffy rubs fur on their pants, but most buyers will very much mind. 

The best possible scenario is to move your pets in with a friend or family member while you’re in the process of selling your home. Even though it may sound cruel to separate your family from the pets, you can compromise your home’s value and salability if you don’t. 

If you can’t move them out completely, the next best thing is to take them out of the house during showings. Load them in the car, take them to the dog park or have a family member walk them around the block until the potential buyers leave. 

If your pets must be in the home while buyers are there, it’s critical to keep them contained. The last thing you want is the legal liability of a dog bite. But be careful where and how you contain your pets. If buyers can’t wander the back yard because that’s where the dogs are, or if one room is off-limits because the cat’s in there, you’ll lose them. 

Remove Pet Evidence to Facilitate Selling Your Home 

In addition to taking the pets out of the home before potential buyers arrive, consider tidying up after them as well. 

Tuck food and water bowls away and collect balls, bones and other toys that may be laying around. If a potential buyer trips on a tennis ball in the hallway, it won’t improve your chances of selling them the house. 

Take a lint brush to the couch to whisk away Fluffy’s fur, and wipe down any low areas on the walls where your pets may have left their mark. Move the cat box, if you have one, to the garage or back yard, preferably where it won’t be obvious. 

Finally, be sure to take care of poo-patrol in the yard before a showing. Sending a potential buyer on their way with poop on their shoe is not the best way to make a good impression. 

Ideally you’ll ultimately sell your home to someone who loves animals as much as you do. Meanwhile, however, it’s important to make your home as attractive as possible to the widest buyer base. The Edie Israel Team of expert Southern California Realtors® can help you prepare your home to ensure the highest possible selling price and the shortest time on the market. 

Contact us today for assistance with buying or selling a home in Yorba Linda and the surrounding communities. 

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