Selling A House With Pets At Home

    When we have pets, they quickly become a part of our family.  But when it comes to selling your home, potential buyers may not be impressed by the presence of your four-legged family member.  Whether it’s due to allergies or a simple case of not being a lover of animals, many buyers shy away from a home with pets.  The good news is that there are strategies you can employ to sell your house without a ruff time.


    A Foolproof Solution


    If you worry about potential home buyers being scared off by the presence of your pet, find an alternate location for them while you are showing the home.  Perhaps a neighbor, family member or friend could watch your pet for a few hours.  Otherwise, consider boarding your pet temporarily.  Without the discomfort of an unfamiliar animal, buyers will be free to tour your home and envision their own belongings in it without having any distraction.


    If All Else Fails . . .


    If you cannot find a way to temporarily relocate your pet, place him/her in a pet carrier when buyers are touring your home.  Animals should not remain in this type of unit for more than two hours at a time, but this should give buyers enough time to see the home and ask any questions.  If you have an outdoor kennel or exercise pen, your pet may be satisfied here until the tour is over.  Your main focus is to keep him/her from interfering with the tour and/or disturbing your potential buyer.


    What’s Left Behind


    As every pet parent knows, animals often leave little surprises in some unapproved places.  If you find yourself with carpet stains or pet odors, hire a professional cleaning company.  If this fails, replace the carpet or consider installing hardwood floors.  Buyers will see stains or smell the presence of an animal and may form an early opinion, which isn’t likely to be favorable, before even giving your house a chance.  Once your pets are out of the house, remove their litter box or training pad(s) and clean the area thoroughly.


    Staging


    Many sellers are already aware of this term because staging a house is essential in the real estate business.  If you have pets, remove any photos or other goodies, including toys and furniture, when showing your home.


    Picture Perfect


    When you sell a home, your real estate agent will take photos for the listing.  These images may appear in advertisements and/or on the real estate agent’s Web site, which means they should represent everything that is wonderful about your home.  Avoid any photos that show your pet, his/her toys or bed.  Buyers are not looking for a pet, but rather a house that they can call home.


    Legal Matters


    Your local law may require that you inform potential buyers that a pet lives in the home.  Nobody likes to see pet hair on the carpet or see a dirty litter box, but they do have the right to know everything about the house, including any pet presence.

    Top Ten Home Showing Tips


    Showing your home is essential in the real estate business.  After all, who would purchase a property sight unseen?  When a potential buyer stops in, here are ten recommended tips to follow when showing your home:


    Tip # 1: Welcome Your Buyers

    If you are still living in the home while it’s being shown, graciously greet your potential home buyers and invite them to look around.  Make sure that you instruct them to take their time and to ask any questions that they may have.  It may be a good idea if you leave the home for a short time to allow the buyer to look without feeling restricted by your presence.  A potential buyer is less likely to voice any concerns in front of the current owner, which is why it’s better to leave your buyers with the real estate agent and announce that you will be returning in 30 minutes.  This should allow plenty of time for your potential buyer to speak candidly with the real estate agent.


    Tip # 2: Be Flexible

    Many home buyers are on a tight schedule, whether it be work, school or other commitments.  Time is tough to come by, so try to be flexible about allowing potential buyers to tour your home.  If you are still living on the premises, it’s especially important that you be ready for last-minute visits.


    Tip # 3: Climate Control

    When a buyer comes into your home, they do not want to feel cold in the winter or overly stuffy in the summer.  If you know that your real estate agent is bringing a potential buyer to tour the home, make sure that the temperature is comfortable.  Otherwise, your buyer may not spend as much time in the home as necessary in order to form an accurate opinion.  The last thing you want is a buyer who’s in a hurry to leave.


    Tip # 4: Quick Cleaning

    If you have enough time before the buyer shows up, run the vacuum over the floors and make sure that any clutter is cleaned up.  A clean home appears larger, while a cluttered one gives the appearance of being too small.  If you really want to impress your potential buyers, place a plate of freshly baked cookies on the dining room table.  When they walk into your home, they will be greeted by the wonderful smell.


    Tip # 5: Animal Control

    If you have pets, remove them from the home temporarily or place them in a contained space, such as a kennel, exercise pen or carrier.  This will allow buyers to tour the home without being distracted by a nervous animal which could result in a nervous buyer.


    Tip # 6: Light The Way

    Your home should appear open and bright, even if it’s a winter day, so open the curtains and turn on the lights throughout the home.  Buyers will not likely be drawn to a dark, dimly-lit house.


    Tip # 7: Educate Your Buyers

    When someone is looking for a home, they are looking for more than the perfect floor plan.  If you have recently had the home appraised or inspected, place copies of each report on the dining room table.  Purchasing a home is a big step, and buyers will be drawn to a home that has everything out on the table, so to speak.


    Tip # 8: Communicate With Your real estate agent

    If you want certain aspects to be pointed out during the home tour, tell your real estate agent what they are.  For instance, good neighbors are a big plus to any home, but it’s not something that potential home buyers will see simply by looking at the rooms in your house.  If you have wonderful neighbors, ask your real estate agent to point this out.  If you live in a family-oriented neighborhood, let it be known.


    Tip # 9: Curb Appeal

    An important part of showing your home is making sure that the outside looks just as appealing as the inside.  When a potential buyer drives up, you want them to be eager to see what else is in store for them.  You can do this by paying close attention to your curb appeal.  In addition to having a freshly cut lawn and properly maintained flower beds (if applicable), the outside of your home should be free of any clutter and any shrubs should be groomed.


    Tip # 10: Ask For Feedback

    Once the potential buyer has completed their tour, invite their feedback by placing comment cards in the home.  The information provided could be potentially helpful during your next home showing, and it will make the potential buyer feel as though you value their opinion.

     

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