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Selling a House Where Pets Live

When you decide to place your York County area home on the market, you will want to make some adjustments in your lifestyle that will foster keeping your home ready for last minute showings. This can be especially difficult if you have pets. The one thing to keep in mind is that while you love your pet, your potential buyer might not. In fact, you will be showing your home to people at all levels of the spectrum – those who love pets in general, those who are frightened by them, those who don’t like them at all, and even those who may be allergic to them.


Plan to take your pet(s) elsewhere when you’re showing your home. If you have the means, you might even find friends willing to take your pet(s) to live with them until the house is sold. This would save you a lot of time, because while the pet(s) live there, you must do a thorough cleaning before every showing.


It’s a good idea to prevail upon some brutally honest friends who don’t have pets to do a walk-through in your home, accompanied by you with a clipboard, paper, and pen. They can detect smells, stains, and marks on walls, etc., that have become part of your environment, and which you don’t even notice. Note everything they mention.


After making arrangements for pet accommodations and the friendly critique, the next step is a complete, down-to-the-baseboards cleaning job. Use as much soap, water, air freshener, disinfectant, and elbow grease as it takes to remove any trace of stain or odor. There are special products developed for removing pet odors and stains.


You may need to do some painting and refinishing in spots where your pet scratched walls or furniture. For worn or torn upholstery, you can invest in slip covers which are compatible with your decor. Carpets or area rugs may need replacing. The point is to do what is needed to make the home attractive to buyers. There are lots of staging tips online.


After you’ve prepared the inside of your home, it’s time to take a look outside. This should have been done by the friends you had looking inside. Of course, any waste from your pets must be removed. If you’re boarding them elsewhere temporarily, it should be an easy proposition to remove any equipment, toys, feeding dishes, litter boxes, leashes, and all other paraphernalia connected with the animals. Check porches and steps for stains or scratching and take necessary steps to repair them and remove any residual odors.


One note of caution. If you intend to keep your pet(s) at home while you show your home, do keep them away from viewers. They will naturally be more excitable than normal with all the extra activity, and you don’t want to take a chance that they may nip someone. That can lead to ugly lawsuits. Check your homeowners’ insurance policy to see what kind of coverage you have for animal bites.


Many people with pets have sold their homes for highly satisfactory sale prices. The trick is to prepare and to take the advice of your agent. Let us know when you’re interested in listing a home in the York County area, and we’ll be ready to help. The Jim Powers Team of local Realtors® is here for you from start to end. Visit our website to learn more, then contact us or give us a call at 717- 417- 4111.

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