The Pet Predicament


The most obvious similarity between children and pets is that we can count on them making messes. Every pet owner has experienced the pet 'accident,' either vomit or urine on the floor. Usually, it's no problem to just clean it up and go on your way.

Potential buyers, however, tend to pick up on these odors. In fact, some of the top complaints from buyers touring a home with pets involve pet hair and litter box odors. Then there are the folks that feel uncomfortable around animals – some are even fearful.

Finally, consider the allergy-prone individuals. The last thing you want is for a potential buyer to start wheezing and sneezing while looking at your home.

Since your goal should be to keep the potential buyer in your home as long as possible, you’ll need to de-pet the house. Yes, it’s a challenge, but here are several ideas:

  • Have your carpets professionally cleaned and sanitized.
  • Wash or dry clean drapes, throw rugs, shower curtains and any fabric items that tend to hold odors.
  • Keep the home well-ventilated.
  • Clean the cat’s litter box regularly and put it outside before showings.
  • Vacuum the home daily, use a lint roller to remove pet hair from furniture.
  • Be sure there are no pet pings in the yard.
  • Pick up food dishes and toys prior to a showing.
  • Crate your pets while buyers are in the home.
  • Go around the house with a Magic Eraser and wipe the walls at dog-level. You’d be surprised how much grime the critters leave when they rub against the walls.
  • Repair any damage your pets have caused, such as chewed baseboards and clawed carpets.
  • Paint the walls if you can’t seem to get the pet odor out of the house. Fresh paint should cover whatever is clinging to them and it has a bonus ― it makes the whole house look better.
  • What will you do with Fido or Fluffy during showings? Ideally, you’ll remove them from the home. Consider taking them to the vet or groomer, a doggie daycare center or hire a dog walker to come and get them while the house is being shown.
  • If you must leave the dog in the home, crate it and cover the crate with a blanket. Leave a note on the door of the room in which the pet is crated so the buyers and their agents aren’t taken by surprise.

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