12 Ways Your Pet Could Sabotage Your Home's Sale

Dog, French Bull Dog Terrier, Frenchie

Dog, French Bull Dog Terrier, Frenchie

Home sellers with the adored family pet, like a dog or cat, are not always enthusiastic about making changes when it’s time to sell their house. But, marketing a house to attract the ideal buyer means edging out of the comfort zone to get the most of the property’s sale.I get it. The fuzzy, four-legged “babies” bring pet-lovers pure joy. They are like the cutest, little kid that’s happy to see you every day--and they don’t talk back.The truth is…potential homebuyers would rather giggle at adorable dog videos in a Facebook feed than deal with surprises your pet might bring to their expected investment (Pet lovers included).

The buyer’s imagination matters to your ultimate goal.

Surely, a buyer could set her gaze on your home’s curb appeal in an online photo and get stars in her eyes. She loves the price. She loves the location. The house meets her basic checklist of needs and wants. And boom. The photo of your French Bull Terrier pops up. Well, that's a bummer.Suddenly, the buyer’s love for the house comes to a screeching halt. And the buyer presents a lower than expected offer, or none at all. That’s not a good sign when you’re investing time and dollars to market the house for sale.As time passes and the offers you expected aren't coming in at the amount you expect, (or at all), you’ll start to wonder if it’s worth it to keep your “fur baby” comfy versus losing your ideal homebuyer. Of course, it's never too late for pet owners to ensure the house meets the buyer's expectations.

A dozen ways your pet can ruin the sale of a house.

You love your pet. Your ideal home buyer loves pets. But, she doesn’t love the idea of your pet in the house creating mysterious issues she’ll be faced with after the closing. That’s not a problem if you combat the issue now. I’ve provided 12 things you absolutely don't want to overlook to market your house to sell in any market. 

  1. Pet stains – If your pet is prone to make accidents, seek and clean the stained areas that could be hidden by using a black light.

  2. Pet fur – Buyers can be allergic to pet fur. Check floors and furnishings to thoroughly clean and remove the fur with a special brush or vacuum.

  3. Pet dishes – Store dishes, containers and food where buyers will not see them and question if a pet lives in the house.

  4. Pet waste – Check indoors and outdoors of your property for all signs of pet waste. Buyers will be turned off completely at the sight, and smell.

  5. Dog/cat door – If you have a pet door within an exterior door, replace the door with a brand new one. If the pet door’s set within the home’s exterior walls, consider removing the pet door frame and returning the interior and exterior wall to the original condition.

  6. Pet odor –When living with pets, it’s not always easy to notice the smell. Ask a trusted friend, that doesn’t live with you, to confirm whether your house smells like a “pet store”, so you’ll know if you need to clean or neutralize odors in a particular area.

  7. Paw prints – Pets can track mud or water into the house. Make sure to clean their tracks to limit a buyer’s sour imagination. Check outdoors, too.

  8. Pet toys/beds – Pack the toys and other gear associated with the pet in an off-site location, if possible.

  9. Pet noises – Limit the typical noises you’re possibly accustomed to like barking, meowing, etc. Walk your pet through the neighborhood, or go for a drive to ensure a “pet-free” home.

  10. Pet photos – Photos of your furry friend will raise questions with buyers and they’ll assume the pets live in the house, even if they don’t. Pack the photos early.

  11. Pet houses - Completely remove the pet house from the property. Store it at a friend’s house. Donating the dog house is a good idea, too.

  12. Pets roaming – The biggest pet lover looking for a house would be turned off if she was distracted with a pet walking through the house, or even sleeping on top of the refrigerator. Send your pet on a vacation to stay with family, or a pet-loving neighbor.