Pets: Can they hurt the sale of your home?

Dogs, cats, lizards, hamsters, guinea pigs, or even rats may be the love of your life, but buyers may view your pets differently. Smelly carpets, stained rugs, or scratched-up flooring can make buyers hightail it out of your home. What can you do? Before putting your house on the market, tackle these areas:

  • Hire professionals to remove any stains from carpeting. If the stains can’t be removed, replace it.
  • Remove smells from furniture where your pets may hang out―and that doesn’t mean just masking it with air fresheners. Instead, try enzyme cleaners or call a professional ozone company.
  • Clean up any pet mess in your yard.
  • Remove pet hair from furniture and draperies.

When you home hits the market, keep these things in mind during open houses or showings:

  • Keep the litter box or doggie pad out of sight.
  • Put away food and water bowls when not in use.
  • Vacuum religiously.
  • Pick up pet toys and put them away.
  • Remove your pets or keep them in a contained space.

If you choose to allow your pet to roam free during open houses, home inspections, or showings, check your home insurance policy to make sure it doesn’t exclude dog bite coverage. Also check for exclusions in the coverage section. Remember, in approximately two-thirds of U.S. states, pet owners can be held liable for injuries resulting from a dog bite―even if the animal has shown no previous aggression!

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