It goes without saying, first impressions are of the utmost importance when selling a home. When marketing property, industry professionals typically recommend sellers depersonalize their homes so prospective buyers are afforded an opportunity to envision how they'd purpose the use of each space. Family pets are no exception to this rule, as they too are direct reflection of a homeowner. Just like photographs or knickknacks, the presence of a pet is a constant reminder of a home's current residents.
And arguably, there are often correlations between pet ownership and the resultant price for which a home sells.
Consider the needs of your pet
But there are two sides to the equation, as sellers also have an obligation to remember the needs and emotions of their pets. The presence of strangers within the home can be just as disconcerting for those animals who are unaccustomed to outsiders. In addition, a blending of uneasy guests and suspicious animals can be problematic. When in fear, animals can be unpredictable; to that end, homeowners are best served in removing their pet companions when marketing and showing their properties.
As to be expected, prospective home buyers usually assume they'll have full access to the subject property, but segregating and quarantining an animal to a yard, cage, garage or room isn't fair to them, nor is it an effective means of capturing a buyer's interest. Doing so significantly limits a buyer's ability to immerse themselves in the home's offerings.
Remove, replace and repair
There are important considerations pet parents must take into account when preparing and staging their homes for sale. In effort to attract the widest range of would-be home buyers, sellers are encouraged to focus heavily on all pet areas, cleaning, repairing and replacing those items that may otherwise detract from a home's overall aesthetics.
Although members of the family, animals may unintentionally cause damage to the interior or exterior surfaces of a home. Stains, odors, dander, and property grounds must be thoroughly attended to in advance of listing. Other considerations, such as flooring, walls, doors, furniture and fencing, must also be free from damage.
Yet, cleaning and repairs are not necessarily enough, as sellers are also encouraged to remove all tell-tale signs of pet ownership such as food bowls, cages and chew toys. While some prospective home buyers may have the ability to look beyond a seller's companions, others may steadfastly refuse.
And don't forget about liabilities
It's important to remember, the potential for unintended consequences are an ever-present risk when a homeowner leaves an animal alone in a home unattended. The chance of an accidental escape or unexpected altercations with visiting guests are a real concern carrying consequential liabilities. Removing an unsupervised pet from the home, if only during a showing, is highly recommended. In essence, the purposes of temporarily removing unsupervised pets is two-fold; while ensuring the safety of visiting guests is vital, the safety of pets who may otherwise feel uneasy about the presence of strangers is another measure of safety.
For many, having a family pet is a natural accompaniment to owning a home, but the process of selling a home with pets is often overlooked. Pet parents wishing to sell their homes are encouraged to seek the advice of a real estate professional prior to actively marketing their home. Further, homeowners may also benefit from the counsel of a veterinarian, as selling a home means changing a pet's established routines.
Selling a home with animals is commonplace; however, successfully executing a marketing strategy accounting for the needs of all family members, both human and animal, is key to maximizing sales opportunities and limiting the amount of time a home stays on the market.
Sean and Aimee McDonald can be reached at 775-250-8335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.