Pets are great...but they aren't known for keeping your home clean and tidy. Cats, dogs, and even smaller critters like hamsters have a tendency to cause messes and leave lingering smells. If you're selling your home, the last thing you want is for a buyer to walk into your home and be immediately turned off by pet odors, stains, and messes.
From deodorizing your home to navigating showings, here's our quick guide to selling with pets—and how to make your space appeal to buyers who are shopping with pets of their own in mind.
Cleaning Up the Evidence
Eliminate the Smells
Litter boxes, smelly crates, scents that have seeped into the carpet—maybe you've grown accustomed to these smells, but buyers definitely haven't, and they'll notice them when they walk through the door. There are plenty of deodorizers and enzyme sprays that you can use to freshen up your carpets and floors, and you may even consider having them professionally cleaned.
Vacuum & Mop Daily
You'll likely still be living in your home while it's on the market, so that means your pets will be around as well. Make sure you're extra vigilant about keeping your home clean during this time. That means vacuuming and mopping every day, and keeping any hair, litter, or dirt and debris off of your carpets and far away from the eyes of buyers.
Remove Any Signs
You've probably accumulated quite the collection of belongings for your pets—make sure it's all out of sight. Hide away litter boxes in cabinets under the sink, store toys in bins in the attic, and move the food and water bowls into the pantry. Aside from your pet's things, you should also take care of any signs of wear and tear, like scratched up sofas or stubborn stains.
What to Do During Showings
Talk with Your Agent
First and foremost, your agent should be aware of any pets you have and what your plan for them might be. They can even recommend a few services that can take care of your pet during showings, or suggest a room or area of your home that the pet would cause minimal distraction being housed in. The last thing you want is for your agent to have no idea that there'll be a cat wondering around and accidentally let them out!
Take Your Pet Out of the Home
If at all possible, it's highly recommended to get your pet out of the home during showings—especially dogs. Dogs have a tendency to be a little more to handle than cats, so if you can go on a long walk or ship them over to a friend or relative's house, be sure to do so. If you have a fenced-in yard and will be returning right after the showing, you may also consider chaining your dog up outside so they cause minimal distractions.
Quarantine Smaller Animals
If you have a smaller animal, like a cat or hamster, you may be able to section them off to a small room of the home or leave them to roam, but be sure your agent and buyers are aware. Some buyers may have allergies that prevent them from being in the home at the same time as a cat or dog, so this may not be an option, but it typically shouldn't be a big deal if you have no other way to get the pet out of the home.
Emphasizing the Right Features
If you have pets, odds are your home also has some pet-friendly features. Since over half of all households in the country also have pets, there's a good chance your potential buyer could be a pet-owner, too. If your home has any of these pet-friendly features, make sure to give them extra emphasis!
While most dog owners will probably be taking Fido out for a walk every day, it's nice to also have a convenient bit of space right outside where they can roam free without leaving home—especially with the added security of a fence so they can't pull any great escapes.
If your home is close to dog parks—or even just has quiet residential streets that are perfect for walks—then that could be a dream come true for pet-owners (and pet-lovers who are just hoping to get in a few head scratches) alike.
Pet-Friendly Floor Plan
What type of flooring do you have? Does your home have multiple levels, and how steep are the stairs? Is the floor plan open enough not to feel crowded by pets? Buyers with pets will be asking these questions, so you have the perfect experience for answering them!
Ready To Sell Your Home in Fort Worth?
Selling a home can be a challenge, but you don't have to worry about the extra stress that selling with a pet can bring! At Wilco Realtors, our team has years of experience in helping sellers with pets, so from tips on cleaning and deodorizing to help with making arrangements during showings, we'll be there every step of the way. Take some time to browse our selling resources, and give us a call when you're ready to get started!
Searching for a new pet-friendly home in Fort Worth? We can help with that, too!