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  • Writer's pictureTeam Pinto

Top Tips for Selling a Waterloo Region Home with Pets

Everyone loves pets, right? Precious pups and cuddly cute cats, what’s not to love? That though, of course, is not always the case. If you are trying to sell your Waterloo Region home, pets can be a bit of a problem, especially if potential buyers are not exactly pet people (and sometimes even if they are).

Why Don’t Buyers Like Your Pets?

The home seller who has pets may be wondering why buyers would be bothered by their pets. There are a number of reasons why even an animal lover might be at least a little annoyed by the presence of animals when viewing a home they may have an interest in buying.

Some people are nervous around strange animals, even if they have pets of their own back home and would be moving them right in should they decide to buy your house.

This is usually especially true of dogs (even the little ones) but some people are not too good around cats either. And if you have a snake or other reptile, prepare for a lot of people to be rather bugged out.

Then there are those who just don’t like animals. The thought alone that a feline may have been rolling around on the carpets, or patrolling the counter tops, is enough to put some potential buyers right off, however nice and clean your home actually is.

What is the Best Thing to Do with Your Pets when Showing Your House?

Ideally, Fido or Fluffy should go for a playdate at the neighbor’s house when potential buyers are going to be in the house. At the very least they, along with all their “stuff”, should be out of sight somewhere where buyers will not go, which can be tough, which is why it’s best they go on a trip.

After they depart, or are removed to an unseen portion of your home, removing signs that you have a pet is simply a smart home selling practice. Why risk turning off a potential buyer at the get-go? After all, it really is that very first impression that is so very important. Here are some tips:

Cat Litter Boxes, Dog Potty Pads and Other ‘Pet Stuff’

Nothing is worse than a potential buyer coming to see your house, which looked so great in the ad online, opening up your laundry room door for a quick peek, and being greeted by a stinky litter box or a used doggy pee pad.

Remove these items well before buyers arrive (remove, don’t just put them in a cupboard, buyers like to open cupboards too.) and make sure the area where they are usually kept is free of any lingering telltale odors.

Carpet and Floor Pet Stains

You may have forgotten about the stain left after Fido had that accident when you were out all day, but chances are a potential buyer will spot it in a second. Get all your floors professionally cleaned before you ever show it to a single buyer and if there are stains that just won’t budge, you are really going to have to consider replacing that piece of flooring altogether, since even if you cover it with an area rug the buyers are going to discover it in the end and although such things are small details they can still cause problems.

Eliminating Pet Smells

As a pet owner, you have the special gift of becoming nose blind to the aromas that have settled around the house from Fluffy or Fido. Unfortunately, not everyone has that luxury.

We have written more extensively in the past about home odor removal, and you can check out all of those tips right here. But it is important that you pay attention to this issue, even if, to your accustomed nose, the home smells fine.

Pets and Virtual Showings

You might think that many of these points won’t apply if your home is being shown virtually, which is often still rather common right now. However, that’s not the case.

Even if an initial showing will only consist of your real estate agent walking through your home and broadcasting via Zoom, even the sight of cat litter boxes or dog dishes will be enough to convince picky buyers that the home might have pet smells (even if it does not) or that there might be pet related damage that they can’t see. Don’t take the risk, and follow through on this advice anyway.

Looking to sell your Waterloo Region home? Or buy a new one? Let Team Pinto use their huge local real estate experience and expertise to help you. Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs here


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