You’ve put your home on the market, and you’re anxiously anticipating a successful first showing. You’ve done everything your real estate agent recommended—from putting away family photos to repainting the hot pink wall in your daughter’s room. Now you have one last thing to deal with: your pets.
We know what you’re thinking. Is your pet really that big of a deal? After all, you have the friendliest little dog. Or the most well-behaved cat. Or the sweetest boa constrictor in the entire reptile world. Well, the answer is yes. Yes, your pet is that big of a deal. In fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, pets have a moderate to major negative effect on selling a home 60-78% of the time, depending on the type and setting of the property.
That settles it. The only kind of pet that prospective buyers are truly okay with? The invisible kind. With that in mind, here are nine tips for turning your fluffy friend into a listing-approved invisible pet:
Invisible Pet Tip #1: Frame the right shot.
We’ve seen plenty of listing photos that feature pets. Make a great first impression by keeping yours out of any photos used to market your home.
Invisible Pet Tip #2: Perform a disappearing act.
The best way to make your pet disappear while your home is on the market is to do just that—literally. Ninety five percent of pet owners consider their animals to be a part of the family. Unless you’re part of the 5% who doesn’t, you’re likely appalled by this suggestion. But giving your pet a vacation to a friend’s or family member’s home for a few weeks is, by far, the easiest way to keep your home show-ready. And, it might make your pet a whole lot happier, too. Especially if yours isn’t used to being kenneled while you’re away. If this solution is simply unbearable or just impractical, see tip #3.
Invisible Pet Tip #3: Pet-free showings.
Having pets present during a showing can be an obstacle for both prospective buyers and agents. Some pets can become aggressive or loud (constant barking does not an enjoyable showing make) when they meet strangers. And some buyers are allergic to animals or may be unnerved by birds, reptiles, or rodents. Rather than temporarily giving your pet to a family member or friend while our house is on the market, just remove your pet during showings. Work with your agent to make sure you’re given sufficient notice, so that you have time to take your pet for a walk, or on a mini field trip. (Exception: Fish can stay.)
Invisible Pet Tip #4: Confine them.
If you can’t remove your pets, confine them. It may seem heartless to crate your pets during a showing, but it’s better than letting them roam freely. In mild weather, putting them in the garage or an enclose area of the basement is another option. Just be sure to leave a fresh dish of water and a note for your agents so that they know where pets are located and whether they can be let outside.
Invisible Pet Tip #5: Remove pet paraphernalia.
Taking your animal for a walk or car ride during showings is a great option, but make sure you stash all Fido’s stuff, too: Things like pet beds/pillows, toys, bones, food dishes, crates and litter boxes only clutter up your home during a showing and can make it more difficult to remove pet odors.
Invisible Pet Tip #6: Clean up—military style.
If your home looks or smells like you have pets, prospective buyers will be turned off. And even if you can’t smell your pet, people who are walking into your home for the first time likely will. In fact, it’s a good idea to ask for an assessment from your real estate agent. Ask them if your house has an unpleasant odor, and thank them for their honest response. Hire professionals to clean your carpets and duct work, and perform a thorough inspection for fleas and ticks. Make sure litter boxes and crates/kennels are sparkling clean if you can’t remove them during the showing. Buy new pet beds/pillows. Bathe your pets regularly while your house is on the market. It’s a lot of work, but it’ll pay off.
Invisible Pet Tip #7: Repair or replace damaged or soiled items.
If a professional cleaning job doesn’t remove pet odors from furniture and carpet, consider replacing them. Also, take a close look at your woodwork, window and door screens, and paint. These are all areas that can show wear and tear from pets. It’s worth your time to bring them back to pre-pet condition.
Invisible Pet Tip #8: Take a trip around the yard.
Be sure to take care of dog waste in the yard, and fill in any holes your pooch may have dug. If you have yellow or bald spots from dog urine, try treating them with the products available at local pet stores.
Invisible Pet Tip #9: Don’t go overboard.
If prospective buyers walk into your home and are nearly asphyxiated by cinnamon-vanilla air freshener, they’ll suspect you’re trying to cover up an unpleasant odor. If you feel strongly about using scents, choose a mild one, and use it throughout your home rather than changing fragrances in each room. Placing dryer sheets in air vents, beneath couch cushions and under area rugs is a great trick for neutralizing odors and giving your home a subtle, fresh and clean scent.
Chances are good that the majority of prospective home buyers who view your home have pets of their own. After all, 65% of U.S. households own at least one pet. But that doesn’t mean they want your pets, and they especially don’t want the odors that accompany them. Make your pets invisible to potential home buyers and increase your chances of selling your home, fast!
Interested in listing your home (with or without pets)? Find out more about Vegas One Realty’s thoughtful approach to Real Estate here.