How to Make Your Pet-Friendly Home Ready to Sell

Even animal lovers are wary of buying a house where the seller owns pets. Whether it’s a dog, cat, or another species, pets can cause damage and odors that reduce a home’s livability. If you don’t take measures to repair that damage, you might not be happy with the offers you receive when selling your house. Here are the steps every pet owner should take to maximize their home’s resale value.

Repair Pet Damage

Of course you should repair any major pet damage before putting your house on the market, but do you really need to fix the small scratches in the hardwood or the dead patches in the lawn? If you want the highest possible offers for your home, the answer is yes.

The most common areas for pet damage to show up is on floors, trim, and doors. Follow this guide from Huffington Post to learn how to repair scratches in different types of flooring. You can also refer to DIY Network’s instructions to replace baseboard sections that are gnawed beyond repair, and try’s method for fixing scratches in doors.

Don’t neglect the exterior. Dogs in particular can tear up landscaping and kill your lawn. Use a sunny weekend to fill holes, repair or replace plants, and reseed dead patches of lawn. This is also a great time to add fresh mulch, trim trees, and plant flowers to give your home’s curb appeal a boost.

Eliminate Pet Odors

Now that everything looks perfect, you might think you’re done. But most pet-friendly homes host unpleasant odors that prospective buyers don’t appreciate. If you’re not sure if your house has odors, ask a trusted pet-less friend to come over and sniff around.

The first step in eliminating pet odors is cleaning all soft surfaces. Carpets and upholstery should be cleaned and throw blankets, curtains, bathroom rugs, and other household linens laundered. However, if your pet has urinated in the house, those steps alone won’t be enough. Enzymatic cleaners can remove urine odors from carpets and other soft surfaces. These should be used prior to steam cleaning a carpet, otherwise the heat could set the stain.

If odor remains, wash the walls with a dilute vinegar solution, replace furnace air filters, and scrub in and around floor vents. Odor-causing particles can accumulate in these areas. Finally, open the windows and turn on the air conditioning to air out the house for a few days. You should also make sure your pet has been bathed and doesn’t have any medical conditions that are causing odors.

Arrange Temporary Pet Housing

Unless your home sells after the first showing, you’ll need to maintain its spotless and damage-free state until it’s off the market. But if your pets are still living in the house, that’s nearly impossible. Housing your pets elsewhere while your home is on the market reduces time spent cleaning. It also eliminates the hassle of dropping pets off at the kennel every time a showing or open house is scheduled. If a friend or family member can watch over your pets until the house is sold, that’s your best option.

If housing pets elsewhere isn’t an option, you’ll need to make adjustments at home to keep your house as clean and odor-free as possible. Consider restricting pets to a single room while the house is the market or covering furniture when not in use. Vacuum and clean up the yard daily to prevent messes from accumulating. You’ll also need to remove pets and their things from the home before each showing. Buyers shouldn’t have any indication that you own pets when they walk through your house.

Owning pets doesn’t mean you can’t get top dollar for your home. However, it does mean you have some extra work to do. If you find yourself debating whether something requires fixing, go ahead and do it. Most pet-related repairs are simple, and not doing them could cost you.


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