Your pets are part of your family – they live in your home and play in your yard. But, when you put your house on the market to sell, having pets becomes another concern to manage.
Most four-legged pets, like cats and dogs, can leave a distinct odor in your home that you might not even notice. This is due to their dander – the skin and fur they leave behind. In addition to frequently vacuuming, you can apply an odor eating carpet powder, use a diffuser with essential oils blended to remove odors like Purification, or use odor removing spray products like Febreeze on carpets and furniture. Pay special attention to throw blankets and pillows that your pets may lounge on, and bed comforters – these are common areas to carry a smell that are often overlooked.
If possible, find alternate housing for your pets while your house is on the market. A friend or other family member who can keep your pet for you during this time will allow your house the chance to air out any lingering pet smells. It will also allow for realtors and potential buyers to enter your home without disturbing your pet and vice versa.
Clean up your litter box and yard from any pet droppings daily and especially right before a showing. Check your yard for any holes that your dogs may have dug, as these can be a tripping hazard. Store pet toys, food and water bowls, and beds in a closet or tidy corner.
Take a close look at the floor, carpeting, baseboards and bottoms of doors to check for any damage your pet may have done. A fresh coat of paint can usually cover up any minor issues, but repairs may be necessary.
Pets like rodents, birds, lizards and fish, which are housed in a cage or tank, can easily remain in your home during the sales process. However, if you have pets such as tarantulas, snakes or other intimidating creatures it might be a good idea to relocate them along with your cats and dogs.
If you are unable to relocate your pets, take them for a walk or let them outside when you’re having a showing. If you can’t do that, ask a neighbor or consider paying a dog walking service. At a minimum, leave a note on the outside of the front door with instructions, such as “Please don’t let the cat outside,” or “dogs are friendly and are in the upstairs guest room,” or similar.