Lots of property owners have a pet. In fact, 40% of the UK own a little four-legged friend, so it might be hard to believe that someone has an issue with buying a property that has previously been pet friendly.
Not everyone looks upon your dog or cat (or other beloved pet) with fondness, however.
In fact, some potential home buyers could look at properties with pets in a negative light. They might even try and use it as a negotiating tactic to lower the price. Or, even worse, lose interest entirely.
Don’t worry, though. If you’re a property and pet owner, selling your home needn’t be an issue.
All it takes is a bit of planning to make sure potential buyers don’t even think twice at the thought of your cat or dog having lived there. Here’s how to sell your home with pets.
Remove your pet from viewings
While having to find a place for your pet to stay every time there’s a viewing isn’t ideal, it might be necessary if potential buyers are scared of animals.
So, the first step in this guide to selling a house with pets is to relocate your pet, or remove them from the home during viewings.
Viewers, and even estate agents, might feel uncomfortable around your furry friend. While you might think little your little pet friend bouncing around the house is cute, others may not share your enthusiasm.
Potential buyers could also bring young children with them to viewings. It might not be a suitable atmosphere to have your pet around younger children, especially if it’s a large dog.
Of course, it’s not possible for everyone to remove their pet from the property during viewings. Trying to find somewhere to keep them every time you have a viewing could also become a hassle.
If you can’t arrange to be out with your pet, at the very least, inform the agent or buyers.
Pets can cause damage around the home, especially if they’ve lived there for a few years. The damage might not be major, with the odd scratch and tear here and there, but it all adds up and could be a reason why your home isn’t selling.
Carpets, hardwood flooring, walls, and even outdoor areas could end up having some form of damage.
If you’re trying to sell your home, you’ll want it to look as presentable as possible. Which is why it’s a good idea to repair any damage caused by your pets.
You might only need to do the odd touch-ups around your house, but it’s well worth the investment. Having someone look at your property only to see scratch marks or evidence of pet damage is far from ideal and won’t leave a good impression.
Clean, clean, clean
Even if your home is relatively damage free from your pets, it’s a good idea to do a thorough clean and remove all pet evidence. From the moment the photographer schedules pictures to an hour before each viewing, give your home a good tidy.
Make sure that the kitty litter and dog bowls are out of sight to avoid lingering smells. Remove any toys, especially the ones that have a tendency to squeak when you stand on them. And don’t forget to vacuum up all of those pet hairs that malt to the floor or get on the furniture.
Lastly, head to the garden and give it a once over – especially if you own a dog that spends a lot of time outside. Pet stains aren’t attractive to buyers, even for those who love pets, so ensure everything is clean and tidy.
Use air freshener
Once you’ve had a good tidy, it’s time to air out your home as part of the selling process. Pets tend to leave that “pet smell” around the house, and it can be hard for owners to recognise it – especially as they become accustomed to the smell.
Potential buyers will pick up on any animal smells quickly, however. You can use air fresheners, though some people have allergies to fragrance products. Alternatively, it might be worth having the carpets and flooring professionally cleaned. This is probably the best option as it will remove the smell entirely, rather than simply mask it.
Once the house is clean and free of odours, ask a neighbour to come round and do a smell test. Making sure your home is odour free is one of the most important aspects – bad smells is one of the primary put-offs for potential buyers.
Getting your home sale ready
As much as you adore your pet, it’s important to understand that not everyone will feel the same. Making sure you minimise the impact of your pet when selling increases your chance of striking a deal.
Keep your house fresh, clean and, if possible, pet free for viewings. Just think of it as an opportunity for you and little Milo the Tabby Cat to move into a new home together and start a new adventure.
Need professional advice?
If you’re looking for more guidance to help you navigate the property minefield smoothly, we have plenty of advice in one place. Find Phil Spencer’s tips for selling your home here.