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Eliminate Pet Odors

Don't let Fido chase away the sale
From Inman News

Psssst! It's about your dog -- they could be the reason your house isn't getting sold. Or maybe it's your cat, or Larry the iguana. Sure, we love our pets. But sometimes that affection makes us oblivious to some of their less-endearing traits, such as the way they routinely kick cat litter onto the floor or how they gnaw on the baseboards. Then there are the odor issues. Perhaps their presence just intimidates potential homebuyers.

Seriously, folks, some people just aren't as enamored of the little beasties as you are.

Eliminate pet odors

Home sellers need to please as many potential buyers as they can. This means that, as inconvenient as it might be, you're going to have to take some steps to minimize the "pet factor" when marketing your home.

For people needing "pet-friendly" a bottle of Febreze and a few other items can help buyers look past the pets.

Four things to know about turning for-sale properties into pet-neutral territory:

  1. Think long and hard about whether the animals could find a new home while the house is on the market. If your home might be for sale for months boarding the animals long term wouldn't be practical. But if there's a possibility of a flurry of showings in the early days of the listing, boarding or keeping the pet temporarily at the home of a friend or relative might be something to think about. Failing that, consider short-term solutions. If you're serious about selling the house, you will either take the pet with you (during showings) or put them in doggy or kitty day care for the day. Get a neighbor to take care of them. But don't stick them in another room with a sign that says, "Dog here. Don't open door". There's nothing more distracting than when people put their pets in the garage or the laundry room and someone is going through the house and they hear this great barking or meowing in the garage. A lot of buyers want to see what's in the garage anyway.

  2. The traditional advice about making the house clean, clean, clean goes double when it comes to your animals. Before the house is listed, you'll have to face what's often collateral damage in pet ownership: scratched floors (buff them or repair as needed) or chewed moldings. Take a look at the walls in long hallways. There's a good chance that if you have a dog, there's a long, gray line along the walls from where "man's best friend" has rubbed against it. Removing odors might entail shampooing rugs and repainting entire rooms. If you're shy about repairs to certain areas because the pet is likely to undo them in short order, the homeowner might punt on this issue by promising in writing to make those kinds of repairs by the sale's closing. Vacuuming is nobody's favorite sport, but if the furry pets are going to remain in the house during the listing period, face the prospect that you might have to do it every day in order to remove fur and pet dander that trigger some people's allergies -- a sure buyer turnoff.  You would be surprised how many are allergic to pet dander. These are nitpicking things that show the appearance of your house.

  3. Find a new home for the feeding bowls, litter box, toys, etc., if possible. Putting them in the basement might not be convenient, but then they won't be distracting, and you can avoid trip hazards. Plus, animals can be messy eaters and users of their litter boxes, and you just don't want the, um, "particulates" strewn about an otherwise clean floor.

  4. Your yard is for sale, too, and you should expect that homebuyers will want to stroll around. This, of course, means that there should be no land mines for the unwary. You don't want to put people off, and I guarantee you, stepping in dog poop is a sure way to do it.

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