CHICAGO – Sept. 8, 2015 – Pets are a loved staple of American home life, and 68 percent of U.S. households have at least one pet. But when it’s time to sell the family home, pets can complicate the process.
“My main concern with pets is their effect on a home’s cleanliness and its smell,” says Mark Santoyo of RE/MAX Loyalty in Chicago. “If a home is nicely cleaned and free of pet odors, the presence of pets is rarely an issue. However, if there is pet hair everywhere, strong pet odor in the house or pet waste around the yard, it can increase the time needed to sell the property and reduce its value.”
Animal allergies are a common concern, and buyers who have them can be easily turned off if a house has pets. While some buyers may ask upfront not to view homes with pets, the often doesn’t come up until after they’re inside a listing.
Preparing a pet home for sale
- Clean the entire house, especially rugs or carpeting, before putting the home on the market. It may mean calling in professionals – and don’t forget air vents.
- Once the house is clean, keep it that way.
- Pet owners often don’t notice the odors caused by animals, so ask a Realtor or friend if they can smell anything.
- If animals have urinated in the house, replace the affected carpeting or flooring, and eliminate the odor at its source.
- Ideally, pets should be removed from the home while the house is on the market. If impractical, take pets out during showings or keep them confined in a small room or crate.
- Safety is the major reason to remove pets from the home during showings,” said saysDavid Scott of RE/MAX Valley Realtors in Illinois, who says he once was attacked by a dog at a property he was showing. “Pet owners usually think their animals are harmless, but accidents do happen, and both homeowners and brokers could have legal liability.”
Pets can also be a distraction. Some people are phobic about animals. Others adore them. Either group can have a hard time ignoring a pet wandering around a home, and 15 minutes playing with a cat takes time away from viewing the home.
© 2015 Florida Realtors®