This is often a difficult subject: Selling your Windsor house when pets are in the home. We all love our animals, as they are a very integral part of our lives. However, take it from an experienced real estate agent, most buyers do not like your pets. I know what you are going to say:
“But they haven’t met my dog!”
“Everyone loves my cat!”
The problem is, buyers are coming to see your home, not your animals. They don’t want to be distracted, they don’t want their allergies to flair up if they have them and pets often act a different way with strangers when they are not with their owners who provide them with comfort. Here are some other reasons we have discovered why buyers really don’t want to tour your home with pets around:
1. There are many people who simply don’t like animals and have a real fear of them. This is especially true if buyers are walking through your home with young children. If they get upset, then buyers will leave.
2. Pets are not predictable. There have been too many stories of buyers being jumped on, tackled, chased and barked at. Yes, buyers have been bitten.
3. Buyers don’t know your pets, and they assume that if a dog is barking, then it’s not happy or particularly welcoming.
Therefore, here comes the bad news. If you are selling your home and you have animals in the house, then the best idea is to find a place for them to stay while your home is on the market. Yes, most buyers refuse to do this and we can certainly understand why, however, think about it for a minute. Your number one priority is to sell your home. If you have any roadblocks in your way, it’s best to find a temporary solution to make your home as showable as possible. If you have a dog running around, agents will take note and move your home down the list if other comparable properties don’t have any obstacles.
Many sellers think it’s okay to leave an animal in the garage or outside if there is a showing. But obviously, this isn’t fair. The best thing to do is to remove them from the house and keep in mind that this is not permanent.
We suggest the following:
Is there a friend or family member that is willing to take care of your pets?
Can pets be boarded at a kennel or perhaps a day care center?
If any of these are unacceptable, then the best thing you can do is to make sure there is very little a buyer can see. For example:
Dog Pads and Litter Boxes:
Make sure these are out of sight. Needless to say, the last thing a buyer wants to see is a dirty kitty litter box or used dog pad in the bathroom, garage or laundry room.
Have you ever walked into a home and suddenly smelled evidence that a pet lives there? Most owners don’t realize that their home can very easily smell of dogs and cats, but visitors can almost always tell. Smells are especially apparent on furniture. Don’t use air fresheners, as the combination of both pet and fragrance is particularly offensive. And for those buyers with allergies, not a good welcoming sign at all. Talk to you real estate agent on how to successfully rid your home of pet smells.
Anyone who has a pet at one time or another has probably a stain or two on their carpets. Hire professionals to come and remove them. If they can’t be removed, then flooring will need to be replaced.
Other excellent suggestions are when marketing and showing your home, do not advertise that you have a pet.
Don’t show online photos of your home with your pet on your furniture.
Put away all food and water bowls before a showing.
Vacuum frequently (at least once a day).
Pick up all pet toys and store.
Store all cages, carriers, cat trees or other paraphernalia so buyers won’t see.
If you decide to leave your pets at home during a showing, then place them in a carrier with a note asking buyers not to pet or touch. Even if you believe your pet is the friendliest one on the block, you simply don’t need anyone getting scratched or bit. No one can predict with any certainty how a pet will act when the owners are not around.
Keep in mind, that having a pet also doesn’t allow any sudden showings if you or someone can’t come to your house and secure a pet at a moment’s notice. Again, we understand it’s not a popular choice, but finding your pets a temporary home may be the best solution for all.