Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.
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Before I get started here, I must clarify the picture above - my babies are NOT for sale!
If you’re anything like me, you have pets and they are considered very important members of your family. They have the run of the house, have toys everywhere, a little bed area in the main living spaces and their food and water bowls are always left out.
When you list your house, their little world will be temporarily turned upside down. You want to try not to stress out your pet and, most importantly, make them still feel safe. You also need to keep in mind that, even though we love our furry family members, unfortunately not everyone feels this way. They could be afraid of them, allergic or simply don’t like them.
I felt this was a pretty important topic to share for anyone that is selling with pets, so here are some tips that will help with their safety and, equally as important, will help maximize the sale price of your home.
Temporarily relocating your pet can be the easiest solution when selling your home. If you have a comfortable spot that they are used to visiting such as your parents, in-laws, siblings, a close friend etc., it would probably be worth seeing if they are willing to watch your pet for you. We understand that this is a little trickier if the house is a tougher sell (ie: remote location) but, when you consider that the average time on the market in Sudbury is 3-4 weeks, you wouldn’t be apart from your pet for too long. Even if it’s just for the first week as that will normally be your busiest time for showings. I know… you will miss them… but it is for the best for both of you! You won’t have to clean up after them, stress about what to do with them during showings and they won’t be freaked out with “intruders” when you’re not home.
If you don’t have this option, at least removing the pet from the property during the showing would be beneficial. Take them for a walk, a car ride or even to the office with you for the day (if possible) are just some suggestions. This will be a lot easier on your pet and will also make the showing a little smoother for the potential buyer.
If you simply can’t remove them, maybe try crating them for the showing, although this is not ideal. For instance, often when a dog is crated, they’ll bark incessantly while the showings are occurring and it makes it difficult for the Realtor® and their clients to discuss the property and creates an uncomfortable feel for the showing.
It is best to repair any damage that may have occurred prior to listing. Pet stains are definitely the most common. Attack those stains as best as you can!!! I cannot stress this enough. Bring in the professionals if you have to or even think about having that carpet replaced or offer a flooring allowance to the buyer.
Clean, Clean and Clean Again
You might not notice it, but your home probably has a pet smell that you’ve become used to. You want to have the house aired out as best as you can, wash all window treatments, spray a little furniture deodorizer, shampoo carpets and remove all animal beds and toys, dishes etc.
I don’t think anyone likes poo, with the exception of the emoji on your phone apps! It is an UNDERSTATEMENT when I recommend keeping your kitty’s litter box clean!!! Clean it everyday and make sure to sweep up all that kitty litter that gets tossed out of the box and loves attaching to socks.
As for the pups, keep the yard free of dog poo!! Stepping in Fido’s landmine is one way to make sure a buyer feels uncomfortable while they were picturing their children playing in the grass.
Pet hair gets everywhere! It’s not uncommon for my clothes to look like they’re all Pug angora products and I’m sure plenty of you can attest to this! Make sure to sweep all pet hair and dander from floors, vacuum in all the nooks and crannies, sticky roller your furniture and even consider a professional duct cleaning so the furnace or AC doesn’t just blow all that hair stored in the ducts back into the house after all your hard work!
Listing pictures should never show pets or even evidence of pets. Remove dog leashes hanging on the coat rack, tuck the litter box away for the laundry room shot and always best to wake your sleepy kitty from your bed/couch prior to getting that perfect shot.
For the most part, cats and dogs are the concern for this post. But, if you have a terrarium that is home to your beloved snake, lizard or tarantula or a bird cage with some noisy budgies, I would suggest covering it with something like a sheet or a towel. Trust me, some buyers will leave immediately as they get seriously freaked out about some of these critters. Even better, ask your in-laws to look after your anaconda while you’re on the market!
Stories From the Field
I personally love seeing animals when I am showing houses and have met some beauties. But I have definitely ran into some pets that did not feel the same way about me…..
One time I had a cat escape while I was showing the back yard of a home. I have had cats most of my life and am quite comfortable with them. When I went to pick up the cat to get it back safely inside, it attacked me. I had bloody scratches up both of my arms and still had six more houses to show!
Another time I was doing an open house and my client’s cat trapped me in a room and I had to call them to come to my rescue! Thankfully I had my phone on me or that would have been an interesting open house…..
In closing, the idea is to try and make your house appear as though animals do not live there. The old saying “there’s how you live and there’s how you sell” rings true for all family members, including the non-human family members. The key is to make it as stress free as possible for everyone while still maximizing your sale value.
We have TONS of experience working with pets. We’ve sold plenty of our own houses with our furry kids and have dealt with plenty of sellers with pets of all varieties. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to come over for a preliminary visit to see how we can help make the listing, sale and transition easier for all family members, especially our furry ones!
Cell - 705.507.1229
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries. For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at email@example.com.