How to Sell a Home with Pets Faster and for More Money

If you have pets, like this couple on the sofa with their dog, here's what you need to do before you list your home for sale:
Photo Copyright : lightfieldstudios /

How many pets do you have? 

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, almost 57% of households have at least one pet in the home. However, while pets make great companions, they do not help you sell your home. In fact, it’s possible that the mere presence of pets will turn away some buyers and influence others to offer less money than they would for a pet-free home.

If you have pets and plan on listing your home for sale, there are a few things you need to know. We’re going to explain how to sell a home with pets faster and for more money. But first:

Do Pets Really Impact the Sale Price of a Home? 

This is a question that gets asked a lot in real estate circles. And the answer is, yes. Depending on the wear and tear your pets have had on your home, they can absolutely affect your ability to sell your home for top dollar. 

From scratches on the door frame to lasting odors in the carpet, home buyers know that pets cause additional cleaning and repair costs. And many worry that those additional costs will only be fully realized after closing. To keep from being saddled with the bill, some buyers will skip your house entirely. Others will ask for credits to deep clean and make repairs themselves.

But there are steps you can take to eliminate those concerns.

4 Tips for Selling a Home with Pets

Most people love pets to the moon and back. But when faced with buying a house that’s been a home to pets? Not so much. Avoid the hassle of protracted time on the market or the pain of paying substantial credits to your buyer. Here’s what you need to do before you list your home for sale:

Relocate Your Pets

Do you know someone who can care for your dogs, cats, fish, and hamster while the house is on the market? Getting pets out of the house will give you the chance to eliminate all signs of their stay. Keeping them out through the duration of its time on the market will make it easier for you to prepare for surprise showings and high-stakes open house events. (If you’ve been weighing the pros and cons of whether you should buy your new home first, this is one more item to add to your “pro” list.)

Repair Obvious Damage

As much as we love our pets, they are still animals. And pet damage is never attractive. Before you put your house on the market, you need to do some serious house cleaning and repair work. Buyers almost always overestimate the cost of repairs. Avoid negotiating over known repairs that can be handled more economically before the home is on the market. That means repainting your home and replacing flooring damaged by strong smells. New paint and carpet can more than pay for themselves with a quick sale.

Set the Scene

Don’t give buyers any reason to suspect your home may have pet damage. Be sure there is no evidence of your pets or their things in any property photos. Most first impressions now take place online. Don’t turn off buyers because of the cat castle in the corner. And before you schedule any showings, hire an expert to deodorize your furniture and carpets. Even minimal smells can make a difference to home buyers in a fast-paced market like we are experiencing now.

Prepare for Walkthroughs

Before every home tour, remove ALL of your pets from the home and put away all pet toys and supplies. (No matter how impressive your bearded lizard, it’s better if he doesn’t meet the buyers.) If you’re expecting a lot of showings and you don’t have anyone to keep your pet, consider making a “travel kit” of things you will need while you’re both out of the house. And lastly, don’t forget to patrol the yard for Fido’s “surprises”. Reseed burn spots with turf or fast growing seed. 

Are You and Your Pets Ready to Sell?

Preparing a home to sell that you’ve shared with four-legged friends can be a lot of work. And sometimes, it is impossible to hide all evidence. Rest assured, if a home is nicely cleaned and free of pet odors, the presence of pets rarely becomes a negotiation issue.

All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, it’s important to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. Contact us today to speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent about selling your Western North Carolina home. View all Beverly-Hanks real estate listings.

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