How to Sell a House With Pets
Selling a house with pets means having the right things in the house and showing off those features to buyers. Here’s how to maintain a pet-friendly property that can still attract buyers.
Animal lovers and pet owners are a dedicated group of people. Their furry friends are a part of their family, and their needs factor into most of their decisions. This includes purchasing a home. Nearly 95 percent of pet owners in a recent survey said their pet’s needs were a key factor in the home search. To sell a house with pets homeowners need to know what buyers want and what they might walk away from if it isn’t perfect for their pet.
Make the space pet friendly
Having a pet-friendly home means you’re living with your cat, dog, hamster, parakeet, iguana, or fish in perfect harmony. It also means, when you’re ready to sell your home, it’s instantly attractive to others who understand the value of non-human family members. Here’s what makes a home particularly pet-friendly.
The biggest need to keep pet owners happy in their homes is space. Whether it’s outside or inside, pets need room to move around. Pet owners need room for all their pet’s stuff. At the top of most pet-owning home buyers is satisfying the question, “Does this home have enough space for me, my family, and my pet?”
Prepare the yard and outdoor space
While a large yard is ideal, especially for dog owners, any outdoor space helps make a home more accessible to pets. In fact, outdoor space is such an essential component for pet owners that even proximity to public parks can factor into a home’s appeal. To make your own yard more attractive to pet owners, make sure you have a sturdy fence that a dog can’t dig under. The gate should have a secure latch that closes each time to prevent escaped animals. If you don’t have a physical fence, consider installing an electric, invisible one to keep pets in the yard. This is especially important if you live on a busy street or have neighbors whose kids play outside.
You should also conduct a cursory check of plants on your property to ensure nothing poisonous to animals is a part of your landscape. Particularly toxic plants include:
- Tomato plant
- Aloe Vera
Replace these plants with those that are pet-friendly like roses or catnip. Even a fresh herb garden, which looks great in any backyard, poses no threat to your animals.
Show off indoor square footage
When it’s time for your pooch to come inside, you want a home with enough room to accommodate. The same goes for cats and all their stuff. You wouldn’t want to have to put a litter box in the kitchen because there was nowhere else for it to go. Having enough space on the inside of your home is just as necessary as what’s on the outside to appeal to a prospective pet owner.
With enough space, you can create a designated area only for pets. It’s where their food bowls go, and where you can store toys and leashes. Situate this area near a door to the yard, if possible, and consider a pet door for easier access in and out on the house.
Choose the right flooring
The type of flooring in your home may be a top concern in selling a pet-friendly home. Certain materials weather better than others. This is true for heavy foot traffic from both humans and animals, but pets post an additional risk to flooring because of their claws. They’re also more likely to have an accident or get sick right on the floor.
The best flooring for a house with pets is durable and easy to care for and keep it in good condition. Something comfortable for bare feet to walk across is a bonus.
Rugs are important to fit into this category too. You want low-pile rugs to prevent claws from getting tangled. Indoor-outdoor rugs are a good option to ensure the fabric doesn’t have large loops. You’ll also want something stain resistant.
Secure kitchen and storage areas
The kitchen is a great temptation in a house with pets. Crumbs, left-out food, and enticing smells can lead your sweet pet to behave badly. Having a kitchen with higher countertops and plenty of cabinets decreases the potential for a pet to get into something they shouldn’t. You can even consider putting childproof locks on your lower cabinets and drawers if you have a particularly intelligent animal at home. These locks will also keep pets away from dangerous cleaning chemicals and even your trash (if your can is small enough to fit in a cabinet.)
Puppy proof the carpet and fabrics
Creating a pet-friendly home is more than thinking about the house itself. Even the carpet you select matters. Ideally carpet should be stain resistant and have odor preventing technology. Consider choosing a carpet with a pet-friendly warranty.
Furniture and fabrics are also important. Cats and dogs especially shed and scratch, they can’t help it. Whether your furniture takes its lumps well or appears damaged and well-used depends entirely on the fabric. Some of the best pet-friendly fabrics include:
- Outdoor fabrics
Leather sometimes goes into the pet-friendly category because of the ease with which it wipes clean, but it also scratches easily. Whether you have leather in your home or not depends on how sharp your pet’s claws are.
The other side of selling a pet-friendly home
Providing a perfect at-home environment for your pet will make your house more attractive to owners with their own furry friends. In fact, over 30 percent of animal owners have, at one point, refused to put an offer in on a home because it wasn’t a good fit for their pet.
Pets can also make selling your home more difficult. Damage, general wear and tear, and the lingering odor that often accompanies pet ownership all can work against you when selling your home. This is especially true if you decide to list a house with pets on the MLS. Animals may turn off potential buyers or present you with more expenses than you can handle to get your home market-ready. If you’re concerned about selling your pet-friendly home selling within your timeline, consider selling off-market.
At Sundae, we help you sell your home as is, which means you’re not responsible for cleaning or repairs. Our marketplace connects you to a network of vetted investors who compete to buy your home, so you can get the highest price possible. We’ll bring you the top offers to review, and if you accept, you can move at your own pace, without having to worry about previous pet damage or odors.