Pets are often considered members of the family. But when selling a home, our four-legged family members can cause additional challenges.
We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to find out the top things pet owners should keep in mind when attempting to sell their home.
- Limit the impact
Pets tend to leave a mark; however, by limiting their impact, you can make your space appealing to any buyer. Dogs should be removed from the home, or kenneled, during showings. Cats should also be removed, if possible. Bird and reptile cages should be covered. The idea is to effectively reduce the impact that a pet would have on people who are not receptive to pets.
Those who have rare or exotic pets—such as snakes, spiders or rodents—may also want to consider removing them during showings, as these pets may, literally, scare off potential buyers.
- Clean up the mess
Scoop the poop! The last thing you want an interested buyer taking away from your showing is a bad smell on his/her shoe. Regularly clean up after your pet to make sure there aren’t unpleasant surprises hiding under your grass.
Have a plan to stash away pet toys, scratching posts and food dishes during showings. By having these items around, potential buyers may be more sensitive to pet-related odors, as well as wear-and-tear that would perhaps otherwise be overlooked.
Wipe down the walls and vacuum up any sort of pet hair. You may be used to a shedding pet, but those attending the showing might not be as receptive. Be sure to also clean any cages, aquariums or litterboxes!
- Freshen up the smell
Don’t forget that the smell is part of the experience of viewing a home. People who aren’t used to pets will likely detect the smell of a pet much quicker than someone who is used to the scent. It may be a good idea to have a friend come by and ask them to objectively explain their experience to you.
One of the most harmful smells is often a cat litterbox. During the time your home is on the market, the litter should be changed frequently to avoid this form impacting the sale. Scented candles and plug-ins may not be enough to completely mask the smell.
“Smell is a major factor that can help or hinder a sale. Fresh baked bread can make the home feel like home; animal scents can cause a buyer to feel like it may take a lot of money to get the smell out of a home,” said a RE/MAX Influencer.
“All buyers use their noses when shopping for a home.”
- Create a plan
Creating a plan for showings will ensure that your home is always at its best when potential buyers have a look. Create a checklist of items you need to put away, or things you need to clean prior to the showing.
If you have a pet that you can’t remove for showings, be creative about how you acknowledge its presence.
“A client had a cat that wanted out, so I put a sign on the entrance for showings to warn buyers. The sign said: ‘Jewels will be your furry showing assistant today. She’s very friendly. Please don’t let her out. Her Mom would be very upset as she’s so cute. She won’t be included in the sale of the home.’”