Do you have a pet? If you do, no matter how cute and cuddly it is, your pets may reduce the value of your home. Right now all the cat owners are turning the shoulders and blaming the dog owners, while the dog owners are pointing right back at the cat lovers. Truth is, all pets can affect the price of your home. Even little Hermy the hamster! Let me explain how…
It is not uncommon to hear people praising certain aspects of a house from the point of view of their pet. The dog will love the large fenced in back yard. The cat will spend his days sunbathing in the huge bay windows. An increasing number of people are taking their pet’s needs into consideration when they are looking at a home. This may help increase the perceived value in certain prospective buyer’s eyes, but at the same time it may turn others away.
Some people just dislike certain pets, and while others love their own pet it does not mean that they will love yours. So let’s take a closer look at how your pets may reduce the value of your home.
Even if a prospective buyer loves your home but is allergic to your pet, they may not even make it through the door. Or if they tough it out, the sniffing and sneezing will definitely have some type of affect on their opinion of your home. Besides, can they truly appreciate the view of your backyard through watering eyes?
Or even worse, what if they have a phobia? It is not just cats and dogs that people are afraid of, but all types of living things. Birds, hamsters, snakes, lizards, spiders, or any other exotic pet you can think of. If they know what they fear lies behind those doors, good look getting them in there. And if they do walk through the home, their mind will be on the thing they fear not on your beautiful choice of draperies and how it frames the window.
So what about those that are not allergic and do not have any phobias? To them, your pets may reduce the value of your home by making it seem dirty. Pets shed and tend to not pick up after themselves. Dogs can leave stains both inside the house on carpets and rugs, and outside by killing grass. Nothing is worse than a big yellow stain in the corner of the living room or several clumps of dirt in the yard where the Dog has peed. Cats are no better with their nasty litter boxes. Try to hide it all you want, 9 times out of 10 a prospective buyer will discover it. Even if your dog has never had an accident or your cats litter box is spotless, there will always be a smell. The pet smell. Trust me when I say that although you do not notice it anymore, others will.
Alright, so now that you acknowledge that your pets may reduce the value of your home, what can you do about it?
First step, clean the house from top to bottom. Not just a simple damp cloth cleaning, but a get on your knees and scrub clean. Don’t be afraid to bring in some professionals to do it for you. The cost of cleaners will definitely pay for itself.
Then remove any stained carpets or areas. Sometimes a cleaning just does not remove those stubborn stains and the odors that accompany them.
Once that is done, have someone else come over and give it the sniff test. You and those that frequent the home will not notice the familiar smells so make sure it is someone who is close enough to be honest, but not so close as to be familiar with the smells themselves.
Once the house is clean and it is time to show it, remove all traces of your pet if possible. Pick up all the toys. Remove any pet beds or blankets. Take the litter box away during the showings. Most importantly, make sure your pets are not at home during the showing. Realtors showing the home will do their best to respect your wishes and leave your pet as much space as possible, but pets do uncharacteristic things when they are stressed. Strangers walking through your home can be very stressful to them. You know your cute little puppy that would not hurt a flea? Well he turned into the most ferocious canine when the prospective buyer walked through that door. Hard to see yourself in a new home when a rabid puppy is chewing on your ankle. Also, many pets are escape artists just waiting for the chance to bolt. So even if your little loved one does not threaten or hurt anyone, they may just get loose and who do you think is going to spend their day searching for it if it gets out?
For those of us that have pets, we love them and they truly become part of our family. Being a pet owner you know your pets may reduce the value of your home. But if you put in the time to remove any trace of them, then most prospective buyers won’t even notice.
Do you have any questions about your pets and your home? Please send me an email or give me a call. I look forward to speaking to you.