Selling A House With Pets?

An image of a pug to illustrate selling a house with pets

Our pets are very important to us.  If you have a pet you probably consider that special fur or not fur creature a part of the family. Seventy percent of U.S. households currently own a pet, or plan to get one, so you are in good company.  But that means that thirty four percent do not own one or do not plan to own a pet.  When you are selling your home you want to appeal to the highest number of buyers, those that love animals and those that do not.  When selling a house with pets there are a few things you should do to make sure that you appeal to all.  

Advice For Selling A House With Pets

Here is some advice on how to navigate the home sale process with your favorite animal. Most all Realtors recommend that you remove your pets for showings.  I agree with this recommendation.  We know how our animals act around us. However, we don’t necessarily know how they act around strangers in their home.  Moreover, there is nothing more disturbing than to listen to a dog barking from a kennel the whole time you are showing a home.  I feel sorry for the dog that does this.  

They do not understand why people are in their home and they just want the people to leave.  No amount of talking, treat giving is going to make this dog feel comfortable. It is hard for the buyer to fall in love with the home with that distraction.  Better to remove the dog. When you remove the animal also make sure that you remove all evidence of animal.  That means food bowls, kennels, beds, toys and litter box.  These items can be stored in the garage or shed. 

A Few More Things To Keep In Mind

An image of a puppy to illustrate selling a house with pets

More advice for selling your home when you are a pet owner includes deep cleaning the home.  For example, this includes scrubbing floors, baseboards and walls.  You may be nose blind to the smell of your pet, but home buyers will not be. If you have stained carpet it is time to replace it. You may try to have it professionally cleaned, if money is an issue.  Often times the cleaning process brings out the smells.  There are methods for cleaning that can help better alleviate the smells.  Ask your carpet cleaner about them. 

Contract and Legal Issues of Selling A House With Pets

Remember the pet friendly features that your home has.  These features may help your home sell faster.  These features might include a fenced yard, single level home, (yes even pets prefer no stairs), carpet or textured flooring, built in dog doors or dog runs. Very important feature is a pet friendly HOA, if you live within a HOA. If the HOA in which your home is located has requirements regarding pets make sure that your agent is aware of these. Also make sure that buyers are informed.  Additionally, it is no fun for a buyer to get excited about a home and go under contract only to find out a week after that their dog exceeds the weight limit. They are left with the option to get rid of their dog or cancel the contract. 

Our Sellers Property Disclosure Form in Colorado will require you to notify the buyer if pets have been kept on the property. It is best though, that the buyer does not know that they are a part of the household because of damage or smells prior to reading the disclosure form. In addition, know that for some buyers no pets is not a preference it is a health issue, with animal dander causing allergic reactions.  Removing pets and their evidence is the best way to sell a home that will appeal to the most buyers. 

If you have specific questions, contact us. We have substantial experience in this area and can make the home selling process smooth sailing for you and your furry friends.