In 2022, nearly 70-percent of households in the United States, some 90.5 million households, include owning at least one pet. Of those 90.5 million households, 69 million own at least one dog, making dogs the most popular pet choice.
Dog Owner Etiquette
When it comes to selling your house, do not think potential buyers feel the same way as you do about pets. Having pets around can lead to a number of concerns that could turn off a buyer, from odors to noise disturbances to pet clutter.
RE/MAX Metro Realtor Estelia Mesimer has been in the real estate business for over twenty-five years, and is a dog owner and dog lover herself. Estelia advises sellers with pets how to prepare their homes for sale, including open houses. Here are some tips she has found along the way to be most helpful.
Get your dog out of the house for showings
Whether it’s an open house or your realtor is showing your home to a prospective buyer, it’s your job as a seller to make the home as attractive as possible. If you know someone is coming to look at your home, take your dog out of the house for a bit.
As you prepare for showings, hide evidence of your pets. Put away litter boxes. Move crates and dog beds. Put away water and food bowls. Be sure your real estate photos are free of pet clutter and toys as well.
Because we grow accustomed to the odors in our home, we may not notice a pet smell the way a buyer will, walking in the door for the first time. Avoid masking odors with perfumed products or scented candles. Instead, spray fabrics, rugs, and upholstery with pet-specific deodorizer or enzyme cleaners that neutralize the odor or have your furniture professionally cleaned. Consider using an air purifier or house fan with a HEPA filter that absorbs the particles that create the odor, like pet dander and allergens.
Homeowners often tend to neglect floors, baseboards, walls, and upholstery over time. Hire a housecleaning service to deep clean every corner of your home, or do it yourself and follow guidelines from the Humane Society for removing pet stains and odors. A deep clean routine should include washing furniture slipcovers, quilts, comforters, curtains, throw pillows, and anything that could be hiding pet hair and smells. If you have carpets, invest in a professional steam clean before showings start to remove any stains, hair, or traces of odors. If your carpets or flooring are badly stained or damaged consider replacing them. It’s an investment that is well worth it.
Getting rid of pet hair and dander is a must when preparing your house for a showing. Not only will potential buyers be more drawn to a clean, neat place, but pet allergies are very common. Itchy eyes and respiratory issues can be a big turn off a potential buyer during a showing.
Bottom Line: Many of us are attached to our dogs. They are a huge part of our lives, but there are certain times when it’s bad manners – and even detrimental to your dog itself – to involve them. Buying and selling a home is one of those times. Do what you can to keep your dog as far away from the fray as possible, whether it be a showing, an open house, or moving day.
St. Petersburg Communities
If you’re interested in any of these of communities or live in one of them and are thinking of selling, call Estelia today!
Greater Pinellas Point
Historic Old Northeast
Historic Roser Park
Isla del Sol