Home selling tips for pet owners

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Removing signs of pets can help a home sell faster and for more money, experts say

Traces of Fido or Fluffy around the house -- whether in the form of pet odors, chewed furniture, or scratched-up floors -- can be a major deterrent to would-be buyers.

In fact, approximately two-thirds of realtors surveyed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said they advise animal-owning sellers to rid their home of any evidence of pet damage or animal scents before opening their doors to potential buyers.

Appealing to buyers who may not love pets as much as you do can boost your chances of getting top dollar for your house. Here's where to focus your cleaning efforts in order to return your home to its pre-pet inhabited state. 


While a spacious backyard is a plus in the eyes of most buyers, pet-related landmines and holes typically aren’t on a buyer’s list of wants. To get your yard visitor-ready, the real estate experts at Re/Max recommend filling in any doggy-dug holes and scooping the poop.

Additionally, be sure to check your fencing, deck, and porch for any marks from scratching or chewing. Most pet-related scratches and damage can be easily repaired with a little sandpaper and stain.


First impressions are everything, but dog toys and pet odors don’t exactly enhance a home’s initial appeal. Get your home ready for its closeup by ousting any evidence of pets, including:

  • Pet belongings. Collect toys, bowls, beds, crates, cat trees, and litter boxes and keep them out of sight. The experts at Re/Max also recommend hiding pet photos.
  • Scents. Get rid of potentially off-putting animal scents by lighting candles, opening windows, or hiring a professional carpet cleaning crew to deodorize your domicile.
  • Scratches. If your hardwood floors have a few battle scars to show for their years of being trodden upon by pets, consider having them resurfaced.
  • Your pet(s). Leaving your pet in the house during showings isn’t the best idea. They could dart out an open door or pose a liability issue if they behave in a less-than-friendly manner toward strangers. If you can’t take your pets with you, let a friend or relative care for them or board them at a kennel.

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