Property Pet Peeves

How to Get Top-Dollar When Selling a Pet-Friendly Home

You might already be fully aware of the damage your pet can inflict on carpet, but did you know that it can also damage your property value? In some cases, such as one noted by TIME, owning a dog or cat can significantly reduce the value of your home. In TIME’s example, a condo lost $30,000 on its sale price due to the owners’ cats. To prevent taking a hit on your home’s sale price, it’s best to hide the evidence altogether. Follow this advice to prevent your pets from lowering your home’s purchase price.


  • Clean — Don’t Just Vacuum — the Carpets


Whether it’s the half-pound of litter your dainty feline managed to drag into the carpet over the past few years, far beyond the reach of your vacuum, or the lingering smell from your dog’s sweaty trip to the park, a carpet shampooer can mitigate a great deal of  damage. Accidents happen, but the house’s next owner shouldn’t be saddled with the repairs or unsightly stains.


  • And Repair the Damage


The claw marks lining your doorframes or your torn screens might not even hit your radar anymore when you’re walking around your house, but they’ll probably be some of the first things your potential buyer sees. Wherever possible, touch up the paint, fill in the scrapes (or better yet, replace the damaged woodwork), and repair all pet-incurred damage. Your yard isn’t immune, either. If you know you’ll be selling within the next few months, reseed the spots rendered barren by repeated dog use and fill in any holes. At minimum, clean up any animal “products” hiding in the grass.


  • Hide the Toys & Litterbox


Even a clean litter box emits an unpleasant smell, so while you’re carrying out the cat, take the box along with you. Similarly, soggy rawhide bones, fraying tennis balls, and destroyed scratching posts probably don’t send the right message about the condition and cleanliness of your home either. It’s a good idea to designate a particular storage place — a box or closet — for these kinds of toys, and also keep an inventory, so you can be sure you’ve found and removed every last stuffed mouse and squeaky toy before the showing begins.


  • Hide Your Pet, Too


There’s no way they’ll believe they’re buying a pet-free home if Fluffy runs out in the middle of a showing. And while that won’t be the worst thing — because you should already be advertising a pet-friendly home — you can’t be certain your pet’s presence will be well-received. Potentially, the buyer could have an allergy. If there is a problem, you won’t simply be able to lock your dog in a room for the time being, because the potential buyer will want to see all the rooms.

To mitigate the potential loss of home value due to your furry friend, take some initial steps to cover up the evidence and repair all the damage. Even pet-friendly homes don’t have to look and smell the part.

Sam Radbil is a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace. ABODO was founded in 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. And in just three years, the company has grown to more than 30 employees, raised over $8M in outside funding and helps more than half a million renters find a new home each month.

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