Selling a home when you have pets can be a little more tricky than usual, but with a bit of planning and the right advice, it needn’t be a problem. A house with dog smells, for example, can be a little off-putting, especially if your viewers are not dog fans.
A bad house-smell is one of the things that could put your potential buyer off. Believe it or not, animal owners can often become immune to the smell of their own pet. They simply cannot smell them.
The problem is, even though the vendor may not be able to smell their pet, their viewers most definitely will. Apparently, even dog owners themselves can pick up the smell of someone else’s dog, so it’s worth investing some time and a little money into getting things right.
It’s also important to consider that your viewer may have asthma, and animal hair and smells could even, worst case scenario, trigger an asthma attack.
If you have an over-friendly dog that jumps up at visitors, or a cat that spends its life winding itself around your visitor’s legs, it could be a distraction for your viewers, and take their attention off your property, or worse still trip them up!
With all this in mind, we have come up with a list of tips for preparing your home for pet-free visit:
Prepare for the photographer
Start planning as soon as you have booked your photography visit and put away any pet toys, beds and food. Your property photos are the single most significant marketing tool you will use to sell your home, and are not to be taken lightly. Hide any evidence of pets and ensure your pets don’t photo bomb your pictures!
Thoroughly clean and tidy your house
Wipe away any pet hairs lurking on furniture. Check all your interior glass windows and doors for the odd slimy nose mark made by your beloved pet! Check windows and doors from the outside too as your furry friend may have jumped up and left some muddy paw prints. These are things we might easily overlook during our busy day-to-day lives, but they are important.
Check your garden for ‘little presents’
It’s vital to do a scan of your patio or yard for any little presents your pet may have left for you, particularly in lawns and flower beds. Cats can also be partial to leaving the odd dead mouse or bird on your step which wouldn’t be pleasant for anyone to find!
Do the following before each viewing
Hide all pet evidence; leave no stone unturned. Hide beds, bowls, food, litter trays and don’t forget the pet itself.
Hoover carpets and clean floors. Use scented vacuum powder on your carpets before you hoover. This will help with smells.
Air every room by opening windows; this will help to get rid of unwanted odours and the rooms will seem much fresher.
Use air fresheners, plug-ins, fresh flowers or anything that will improve the aromas in and around your home. Use fabric spray on sofas, curtains, cushions and any other soft furnishings, especially where pets hang out.
Make a pot of fresh coffee. I know this sounds a bit cheesy and is the oldest trick in the book, but it really is effective. Did you know that smelling coffee beans is used as a technique to cleanse your nasal palate?
Clean windows and glass doors, internal and external.
Brush or vacuum pet hair from furniture and soft furnishings. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to put on a pair of damp rubber gloves and repeatedly rub over the material on your sofa or chair. The hair will come off in clumps. It also works on carpets if the hoover hasn’t tackles it effectively enough.
Clean bedding on all beds. This will lift the look of the room and freshen the scent of the room.
Get someone to take your pets out, or hide them. If you have a dog, ask someone to take it for a walk round the block. Put the cat outside. Take your hamster cage next door or put it in the garage where it is more acceptable.
Your house must be pet-free, clean and fresh.