If you're putting your house on the market, you may have heard it could be more difficult to sell if you have a dog. This may or may not be the case. Here are some tips for selling your home when Fido is still on the premises.
Repair any pet damage.
This should be the first thing you take care of, and it should address all pet damage, not just that from any dogs. Get rid of urine stains, repair chewed moldings, replace damaged upholstery, and refinish scratched hardwood floors.
Take care of doggy odors.
The smell of your home can either entice a buyer to look further or repel them before they've gone past the front entryway. They don't want to think those unpleasant odors will last after they've moved in.
Fabric is one of the main elements that harbor pet odors, so be aggressive here:
- Rip out or steam clean all carpeting and area rugs.
- Clean your upholstery and bedspreads if pets are allowed on the furniture.
- Keep all dog bedding clean, and remove it during showings (see below).
- Wash or dry clean all fabric window treatments.
- Use a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda or a white vinegar solution to remove urine odors (never bleach).
- Make sure to treat any malodorous areas in the basement, garage, or yard as well.
Minimize signs of your dog.
Some realtors will insist that any signs of a dog can turn off a potential buyer. If yours feels the same way, you may want to minimize any other signs of your dog.
Make sure your pooch is out of the house when buyers are looking at it. If this is challenging, consider boarding your dog or sending it to daycare and only offering showings on days you know your dog will be gone.
Stash dog dishes, toys, treats, and leashes in a cabinet or drawer. If your dog sleeps in a crate, it may be best to stow the kennel in an out-of-the-way location during showings. You can also purchase unobtrusive dog crates that are built into the bottom of end tables and entertainment centers, with doors than can be closed off when they are not in use.
Take an alternative tack.
There is an alternative to trying to erase any sign of a dog in your home. While you should still eliminate pet damage and odors, you don't necessarily have to make your house look dog-free if you're advertising your property as a pet lover's dream.
If you live near a great dog park or walking trail, or if your home is well suited for canine companions (mudroom, dog doors, fenced in yard, etc.), you may want to target buyers that also have dogs. Selling a house can be a big undertaking, especially when there are many other homes for sale, but you may just find another dog lover this way who is thrilled that you have made a home their dog will love too.