When showing your home, keep cat boxes, bird and rodent cages, and the surrounding areas clean. Keep a towel or blanket under cages. Excess cat litter, bird seed and wood shavings should be vacuumed frequently. Having a well managed pet living area shows that you care about maintaining your home.
Here are some additional thoughts to keep in mind to make sure your furry little friends don't get in the way of a sale:
Is Fido taking a bite out of your sale? Dogs and cats in particular like to scratch and chew. Nervous dogs will scratch doors, floors, door frames, walls, carpet and even chew furniture. A home inspector will note any damage to components (doors, floors, weather stripping, screens) if it affects the overall function of any system within the home.
Luckily, scratches on hardwood floors (or the cabinet door where you keep Fido’s treats) can easily be fixed with a good sanding and finish, but the damage, if left un-treated, can completely draw attention away from the beautiful wood features in your home. Scratched and torn window screens can be repaired as well, but replacement is probably the best way to go if you’re looking to impress buyers with your home.
How to avoid this kind of damage in the first place? Keep your pets nails groomed and avoid locking your pet behind a door or in another room while entertaining or leaving the house for a long period of time. Give your dog chews and reward for good behavior. Give cats carpet pieces or scratching poles.
Nothing to sneeze at. Pets, for some, mean allergies and unpleasant smells. Some buyers’ allergies are so strong that dander in carpets and furniture can cause an attack within minutes and make a walk-through miserable or even impossible. Keep carpets and furniture vacuumed regularly—and let’s not forget about general pet odors. Without going overboard, carpet deodorizing treatments, air fresheners and/or some strategically-placed potpourri dishes (not where Fido can reach them) should do the trick.
SHED no tears. Cats and Dogs shed fur. Perhaps a surprising fact? Much of that hair/fur debris commonly ends up under the refrigerator. This is an insurance company documented fire safety issue and shouldn't be ignored. Vacuum under your refrigerator at least twice a year. Also, don't forget your air conditioning and heating supply registers. Hair/fur absolutely can and will affect the functioning and efficiency of these systems. But even if you've kept a fairly consistent cleaning schedule, pet hair in your AC unit or furnace system can be further removed by a professional HVAC company.
Urine? You're out! When speaking of pet odors, urine probably has to be the number one cause for wrinkled noses. But don’t be fooled by claims that painting over the damage is enough to fix and seal the issue. Urine stains in carpet can seep down into the carpet pad and even into the subfloor leaving lingering odors that could deter potential buyers. Urine on floors, wood trim, or drywall ultimately has to be replaced. It is the only way to truly remove the damage/stains and the resulting odor.
Itching to sell? Does your pet have fleas? You’ll want to take care of the issue immediately, especially for your pet’s sake, but you’ll be happy to know that with the help of a specialist, a flea problem can be fixed without replacing your carpet.
Ocean views. Check your fish tanks frequently for leaking. It doesn't take much to ruin a wood floor, or sub flooring under a carpet. Inspections will look for water damage under the tank area and again at the next level below.
Get well soon. Maintain your animal's health. Not only will your pet thank you, but so will your home. A sick animal can be very damaging (long term) to your carpeting and/or furniture. Inspections will note stains on flooring materials as areas of concern.