Having a pet can be a rewarding experience; you get a friend and companion that can help not only your physical health, but your mental health. Unfortunately, as much as you love your companion, others may not feel quite the same way—especially when it comes to purchasing your home.

As a pet owner who is selling their home, there are steps you will need to take to ensure that your home appears pet-free.

Have Someone Unrelated Walk Through Your Home

We like to think we know our own home best, but the longer we live in a place the more likely we are to ignore small details like that scratch in the hardwood floor or the discoloration around your pet’s favorite sleeping spot. We also adapt to smells rather quickly, which means that if you own a pet you may not notice any pet-related odors like fur or urine.

To discover these problems and fix them before you show your home, have someone unrelated to you who does not spend a lot of time in your home do a walk through. They will let you know if a certain area smells or shows a clear sign of a pet.

Remove The Evidence

When showing your home, you want it to be depersonalized so viewers can see themselves in it. If there is pet paraphernalia or odors, they will be unable to connect with the home. Therefore, it is essential that you remove all evidence of pets and clean, clean, clean!

Open windows to air the place out, light a scented candle or spray some odor neutralizer, clean litterboxes thoroughly and consider using a deodorizing litter (not scented, as the smell can turn your cat off of using their litter box). Vacuum every day to remove pet hair and for hardwood flooring, there are many cleaning products designed to clean while eliminating odors and stains.

During showings, move pet beds, litter boxes, food and water dishes, and other supplies to an out-of-the-way place like the garage.

Replace, Repaint, Repair

Even if your carpets appear clean, they could be harboring a lot of dirt and pet odors. Get them professionally cleaned or if they are in poor condition, consider replacing them altogether—just don’t go overboard. Remember to stick to your budget.

If your pet had a certain place along the wall that they liked to sit, put on a fresh coat of paint. This will remove any discoloration and make your home look fresh and bright.

Repair scratches on hardwood floors caused by pet nails. For small scratches, you can often reduce their appearance by yourself with simple methods like a blending pencil or fresh coat of finish. For deeper, widespread scratches, hire someone to sand the floor and refinish it.

Take Care Of Your Pet

To help ensure the cleanliness of your home and reduce the need for repairs, it is essential that you take proper care of your pet. That means regular grooming (baths, trimming nails, trimming fur), socialization, and exercise to keep them calm and happy, which means less of a mess in your home.

When viewers come into your home for a viewing, remove the pet from the home by either sending them to a trusted friend’s house or boarding them short-term at a kennel. If these are not viable options for you, put your pet in a crate and in an out-of-the-way room where they will be safe and undisturbed by visitors.

Be sure you tell your realtor about your pet so they know who belongs to you and they know not to let the wrong pet in or out.

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The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.