It's hard to believe, but not everyone is going to love your precious Fido or Fluffy as much as you and our real estate agents do. Don't take a chance on their presence, affecting the marketability of your house. If you're a pet owner, follow these steps to prep before showing New Orleans homes for sale.
- Mum's the Word
While referring to your home as great for families creates interest, advertising it as "pet-friendly" can turn potential buyers off immediately. Refrain from any mention of pets in online listings and other marketing materials.
- Hide the Evidence
Litter boxes, food bowls, and chewed-up toys make an unappealing visual for non-pet owners. Gather up all the physical signs of pets and stow them well out of sight. Make sure items are also removed before taking photos.
- Freshen the Air
You have most likely grown nose-blind to the scent of your pets, but a visiting buyer will detect it immediately. Your best bet is to have textiles, such as carpets and drapes, professionally cleaned. If that's not possible, choose neutral, pet-specific deodorizers rather than scented candles or air fresheners that can be almost as offensive as the actual pet smell. Enlist a friend without pets to conduct a smell test.
- Repair Wear and Tear
Has your cat been using a chair leg as a scratching post? Maybe your dog has released excess energy on the door frames. Examine your home carefully for signs of pet-inflicted damage and repair or replace it as needed. Can't afford to repair hardwood floors or other costly features? Be prepared to consider alternatives, such as offering a credit toward any work that may be needed.
- Vacuum, Vacuum, and Vacuum Again
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, roughly 30 percent of Americans suffer from pet allergies. That translates to three out of every 10 people who pass through your home. Vacuum carpeting, flooring, drapes, and furniture, and dust surfaces before every showing. Focus on corners, baseboards, and other nooks and crannies that tend to attract pet hair and dander.
- Don't Forget the Yard
Domestic cats tend to remain primarily indoors, so this tip will apply mostly to dog owners. Even another pet lover won't appreciate being greeted by unsightly "surprises" deposited in the yard. But don't limit your clean-up efforts to removing doggie waste. Make sure no toys are left lying around and fill in any holes your dog has dug to hide his treasures. In addition to being eyesores, these issues can become injury hazards.
- Relocate Your Pet
Temporarily, of course. It's virtually impossible to hide a pet well enough to avoid the risk of detection. Rest assured that buyers will be looking in basements, garages, laundry rooms, and every other conceivable place you might stash your dog or cat. Removing pets from the premises is also in their best interest, as they could conceivably become frightened or agitated by strangers traipsing through "their" home. Ask a friend or family member to pet-sit or get recommendations for a trustworthy pet daycare facility.
Does your family include both two- and four-legged members? Whether you're buying or selling a home, we can accommodate all your needs. Contact us at Latter & Blum to get started.