Even if they love pets, most home buyers are not going to be interested in a home for sale that's scattered with pet hair and pet odors. You don't want buyers to be turned off when they enter your home and see that you have a dog or cat. Here are some tips to help you sell without getting rid of your furry family member.
Have the carpet professionally cleaned.
Don't trust your nose when it comes to pet odors. Since you've lived with your pet for months or years, your nose is probably used to those odors. Chances are, your house has a pet smell, even if you can't detect it. Most of that odor tends to linger in the carpets, so having them professionally cleaned should take care of most of the odor while also ensuring any stains and spots are diminished. Once the carpets are clean, be extra careful that your pet does not dirty them again. (Wipe paws after he's been outside, encourage him to sleep elsewhere, and vacuum daily to remove hair.)
Have a neighbor watch the pet when you're showing the home.
Just because your pet still lives in the home does not mean they should be there when potential buyers show up. Ask a friend who lives nearby if they can take your dog or cat for a few hours on short notice whenever a buyer is due to show up. Buyers may not notice a tiny bit of pet hair or that scratching post in the closet if there's not a cat or dog right there in their face. You don't have to tell them you have a pet unless they ask.
Hide noticeable pet accessories.
Before you start showing your home, make a plan as to where you'll hide items like the litter box, scratching post, and dog bed. Is there an obscure closet in the basement that you doubt buyers will open? Maybe there's a storage shed in the yard. Keep a tote box in the corner, and whenever you know you'll have to show the home, load everything pet-related in the tote and stash it away.
If someone looks at the home and asks if you have pets, be honest with them. However, if you do a good job of cleaning up your home (including the carpets) and getting your pets and their gear out of sight, you'll be surprised how many potential buyers don't even think about the possibility of pets.