Family and petIf you’re an animal lover like I am, then you know how big a part of our lives our pets can be.  Recently, the press reported that Paris Hilton is looking for an apartment that she will only consider if the building is pet friendly and the apartment has enough space for her seven dogs!  Now you might not be trying to sell a house with seven dogs, but just one pet can present a challenge when you’re trying to sell a house to buyers who are less than understanding.

When I’ve had clients who have pets, I give them the following advice:

1) Deodorize the entire house, especially carpets, drapery, and upholstered fabrics.  Maybe you’ve seen the Febreze commercial, where the owner thinks her house smells like she has one cat, but in fact everyone else thinks it smells like the house is covered with cats. 

2) Have a box or a place where you can quickly store away any pet paraphernalia before showings.  It could be under a kitchen sink, in a basement, even under a bed.  The list definitely includes litter boxes, toys, etc.  For some buyers, it’s enough to know that a pet lives there to turn them off from buying a property.  Buyers have their reasons, and it all seems logical to them, so don’t give them anything to work with.

3) Lastly, find a way to make sure that your pet is not in the house for showings.  That could mean putting your cat in a carrier (yes, I know it can be difficult) and going for a walk.  You could also consider asking a friend or family member to watch your beloved Fluffy for the time your house is on the market.  For most pet owners, pet boarding is the last resort, but it’s an option that could be well worth it in the end.

If you’re serious about getting your property sold faster, and for more money, then taking these words of advice could make all the difference.