If you're reading this, there is a good chance you have a pet. And if you do, you also are likely aware of yes just how much you love them, but also how much havoc thay can sometimes wreak in a house. I can vouch for this. I have two myself, and it's safe to say they have deappreciated my house. Now to what degree, I can't be certain (I don't really want to quantify it, as it's in my best interest to actually like my dogs). But I harbor no illusions in regard to the negative effects they've caused my property. Despite this, of course I still love them.
I think I do...I mean I have to, right?
Nevermind, I guess I do. But to be more specific, my carpets and my hardwood floor have taken a fair beating. I have no plans to sell currently but accept when I do, this will be reflected in my sale price. Yes I'm a REALTOR® but you'd be crazy if you think someone has to have their real estate license to be aware of how much pets can damage value of a home. What you might not be aware of though, are the steps to take if you are attempting to sell your house and own one or more pets. Trust me, I'm sure you're 100% positive that your pet is ranked #1 in the world for cuteness, but there is a very, very off chance prospective buyers might not agree with your ranking and a pretty decent chance they actually are turned off by their very presence in your house. With that said, there really are some things you need to know if you're trying to sell and also own a pet(s). Let's take a quick look at em.
First reality: Buyers just might not like your pet. Not the idea of a pet, but don't like seeing a pet in your house during a viewing at all. If you have a goldfish you're probably ok, but free roaming creatures can make some buyers feel seriously jumpy, especially ones from other cultures that aren't used to seeing them in a domesticated setting. You know they won't jump up and bite someone's face off (or are pretty sure anyways) but for all you know a buyer is conjuring up images in their head of the Cujo car scene.
First solution: Ideally, get them out. Like not in your furnace room, get them completely out of your house, it doesn't matter how but allowing them to stay really shouldn't be seen as a good option. It's not the absolute end of the world if you have a smaller dog in a kennel for example, but it does carry the added risk of turning off some buyers who see that and letting their imaginations run wild in terms of what that little dog may or may not have done to the house.
NOTE: THIS DOES INCLUDE CATS. I can't tell you the amount of times I've shown a property only to have cats hiss, swipe, or even jump at me. Cats should be viewed in the same way as dogs when it comes to removing them out of the house.
Second reality: You've seen Sopranos right? What's the first thing Tony or any of his associates would do after they off somebody? You've probably guessed it and that's get rid of all evidence. If you get rid of your pet for showing, that's great and more important than removing the signs you own a pet, but you still really shouldn't see pet stuff as cute decoration. It's basically the same problem as having the actual pet in the house during showings (minus the jumpy buyers being legitmately anxious/scared), but it makes many buyers assume your house is damaged goods.
Second solution: Ditch it ALL. Sure the litter box and food bowls are the obvious ones, but also pictures of pet, pet toys, the inspirational "our dog is our child" plaque you have on your mantle. This one isn't complicated, just pretend you're Tony Soprano and any signs of a pet could lead to a grand jury indictment.
Third reality: Come here. No, just a little bit closer. Ok step back, you smell like dog. Wait a minute...that probably means your house smells like dog! That's probably a problem, don't you think? Look, I'm not telling any tales out of school here. Even though you shipped your pet off for showings, and (hopefully) properly hid all the evidence, anybody with a single working nostril will be able to walk into a house and immediately tell you're a pet owner if you don't take the necessary precautions.
Third solution: Those Glade plug-in things seem to mask pet smells pretty well. We would recommend that, without making it seem too obvious. A professional carpet cleaning also is never a bad idea. Unless your house is full of cat urine. If it's cat urine, just burn your house down and start over. It's seriously the worst and there is no air freshener in the world powerful enough to cover that up.
I hope by now you're sensing a theme, but if not, let me be as crystal clear as humanly possible:
WE DON'T WANT ANY SINGLE BUYER TO SUSPECT YOU HAVE A PET.
If you're one of those people that just reads headlines and tries to jump to conclusions based on it, this is your headline. Do everything you can to achieve this, and your agent will be more than a little relieved. It'll also help your home sell quicker, and likely for more money. You know the iconic ending for Avengers: Infnity War where we see all those superheroes just sort of evaporate into thin air? Well that's not possible here, but I hope I've listed enough here to at least provide the next best thing.