Denise Watson co-owner of Northwood Wokingham explains why if you are looking to sell and have a pet there are a number of things you need to consider:
Pets and people can be a prickly subject. So before I start I have to clarify that I have pets and apparently 46% of the UK population also do. If you have a pet they are generally accepted as part of family and depending on the type of pet that means accepting your fair share of pet hair, muddy footprints, chaos and odours. If nearly half of the UK population has a pet then you might assume that half of your viewers will understand and overlook any shortcomings caused by living with pets. The reality is that some will but the vast majority won’t.
I’ll give you an example. Do you remember coming home from holiday and opening your front door? For me nothing looks quite as smart as I thought it did and I notice the place has a slight smell. A little bit of distance is a wonderful thing. This is usually the day I realise all those shoes in the hallway are a trip hazard and that all the clutter in the kitchen really has to be put away! Noticing how it smells on a day-to-day basis is also unusual. Your home doesn’t have a smell to you, does it? Except it does and you’re now attuned to it. It smells like home, normal, of nothing in particular. That’s not how a viewer will perceive it.
Even if your viewers do have dogs, cats, rabbits, snakes (or even a tarantula!) their pets won’t smell quite the same as yours. Start thinking about how you’ll live whilst selling your home. It’s demanding keeping everything so tidy and that’s going to extend to your pets. A carpet clean will go a long way towards eliminating pet odours, even though your pets are still around. Shampooing the dog isn’t fun but consider it an investment! Buyers are looking for a reason to reduce their offer, don’t make eau de dog one of them!
If you do have cats or dogs then consider them during viewings too. A procession of buyers might be stressful, so keep them out of the way for their sake as well as the buyers. Consider that allergies to cats and dogs are relatively common – the last thing you need is someone looking to make a fast get-away the minute they spot your cat curled up on the sofa. A surprising number of people are scared of dogs so don’t make them scared of your home too.
As with every aspect of selling your home it’s always worth putting the work in. A little preparation and you’ll see the financial rewards.