Can having a pet impact your chances of selling your property? In a word – yes. With the often cold and wet weather in the UK, most homeowners allow their pets to live inside their homes as a furry family member. While a pet can make a welcomed addition to a family and one’s emotional wellbeing, they can put some buyers off when your home is on the market.
That said, while selling a property with pets can be a little more challenging, it isn’t impossible and there are things that homeowners can do to get the best possible result from the sale by being prepared. Here are a few tips that could assist with selling a home with pets:
Although the objective is to sell the home, it is imperative to keep in mind that your pet has its own needs that should be taken into account. Having buyers in and out of the house during the sales process and moving to a new environment can all be extremely stressful for pets. As such, it is advisable to consult your vet regarding the plan you have in mind and how it could work with your specific animal. This is particularly important if the pet is older and may not adjust that well to any changes.
Having your pets stay with a friend your family member during the sales process will help eliminate some of the stress of having strangers in the home and will make it easier to keep the property clean. Another advantage is that not having the pets in the home will give you the chance to remove all signs of having a pet in the home, as in some cases these signs could bring down the perceived value of the property.
While a viable option, there are some aspects to consider, such as the fact that it needs to be someone your pets know and are comfortable with. There is also the matter of the pet needing to adjust to living with someone temporarily and then adjust again to the new home – this could be added unnecessary stress for the animal.
If relocation during the entire sales process is not something that appeals to you, perhaps consider just having the pets stay away during viewings. In an ideal situation, it is best for the seller not to be home during viewings and leave the viewings to the estate agent.
If your pets are home while you are not there, it could cause complications for the agent and could put the pets at risk of accidentally getting out of the property. Even if your pet is friendly, with people constantly in their territory they could react badly to someone and result in them biting or attacking them. Leaving a pet in that situation is asking for trouble – even if they are not normally aggressive, it is not worth taking the chance.
If taking them somewhere during viewings is not a viable option, then rather be home with them to ensure they are happy and taken care of. If need be, have a contained area of the home for your pet and let the estate agent know.
As lovable as animals can be, pet damage is never endearing when trying to sell your home. Often dogs and cats will damage or destroy elements in the home such as the carpeting, flooring, walls, doors, garden beds and fencing. It is best to get any damage caused by your pets repaired before the home is listed. This might mean an initial investment, but money spent will be recouped by the value added to the property.
An unpleasant smell can put a potential buyer off, so get rid of any bad odours and stains left behind by pets. A strong odour is among the top reasons a buyer will pass on a property. This is because smells can evoke an emotional response that will linger in the buyer’s mind. An unpleasant odour will elicit a negative perception of the home that will stay with the buyer. Having the carpets and flooring professionally cleaned will remove stains and have the home smelling amazing.
While selling a home with a pet can take a little more effort, the extra work will pay off in the end. Although it is not always easy to hide all evidence that a pet lives in the home, buyers will appreciate the fact that every effort has been made to ensure that the property looks and smells as good as it would pet-free.
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