Your pets are your family, and much like children who have to be coached through the process of selling a home, your animal companions may need a little help getting through this time. Your pets can also impact the sale of your home, and there are steps you can take to mitigate any negative impact.
Make Time and Space for Your Buyers
From the beginning of your decision to sell your home, you and your Realtor should agree on the best method to show the property with pets. While many people are appreciative of other pet owners, the presence of a dog or cat may startle some. For others, it may be off-putting to have your pets there as they are trying to envision themselves in your house. You wouldn’t leave one of your children sitting in the back room when buyers come to check the property; you should not leave your pets unattended either.
If you’re living in the home, it’s wise to coordinate times that you or a friend can remove pets from the house, rather than restrict them to a particular area. No matter how affectionate and well behaved your pet might be, it will be a relief to your pet to not be alone with strangers. It will also be a relief to your prospective buyers to not have to worry about your animals slipping out, or preventing them from being able to see the whole property. If you have pets like reptiles, you may not have an option to move them, but let your Realtor know so they can advise people who are coming over and avoid surprises.
Clean Up After Your Pet
Food, hair, and the occasional mess are a reality of being a pet owner as well as a home owner. A deep clean before putting your home on the market will take care of things like old stains, hair-covered baseboards, and any accidents that may have happened over the years, but the real challenge will be maintaining this while your house is on the market. Open houses and home showings invite a lot of people to look at places you might not even think about, so maintaining a clean floor and keeping toys picked up during this time will be helpful. A sometimes overlooked detail is places where dogs and cats use the restroom, which should be kept absurdly clean. Even the most sympathetic fellow pet owner will remember if they might have to be careful where they walk.
From your pet’s perspective, moving can be scary, especially when you’re painting, cleaning, and rearranging things. Assigning a space for them to have to themselves (and to minimize how many areas you need to maintain for guests) will comfort them, and keep you from needing to do a full once-over of the property every time buyers are coming by.
Once you accept an offer, the balancing act continues for you and your pet. Appraisals, inspections, and potential work on the home mean more visits once you’re under contract. That means your pet is still going to need to be able to shuffle around when needed. There are lots of experienced contractors and professionals out there that might not be bothered by the presence of a dog or cat, but as a courtesy you should make sure to ask, and make sure that’s the right decision for your pet as well.
You may also be asked to replace damaged things, like stained carpet or chewed fixtures. If you know about these things in advance, plan how you want to deal with them if a buyer wants something done. This will avoid issues later down the road that you might not have prepared to budget for. If you think you’d like to replace something like the carpet prior to selling the home, consider whether or not there’s a potential for damage to it between the listing date and the close of a sale.
At the End of the Day
Regardless of your reasoning for moving, getting to the next adventure will be exciting for you and your pets. Creating an environment that’s safe for them and comfortable for the visitors will help your home sale move quickly, keeping the house open to as many prospective home as possible to increase the speed of your sale. If you have questions about how best to get your home on the market and to keep both your pets and buyers happy, contact us! We’ve moved hundreds of families on to new homes, many of them with pets, and the process can be painless even with the extra attention paid to your animal companion.