6 Tips on Selling a Home with Pets

Selling a home is a hard enough task, but selling a home when you have pets living with you is even more difficult. Selling a home with pets presents several additional challenges for a home owner. More often than not, pets can cause serious damage - the scratches, odors and other casualties.

If you want to ensure you get the highest final sale price, you'll have to properly stage your home to create the idea that you are not a pet owner -- or at least eliminate any signs that your animals were destructive.

Here are some of the best tips to prepare for selling your home with pets.

1. Give Your Home a Deep Clean

 A strong odor is in fact one of the top reasons a buyer will pass on a home. You don't want to be scaring away potential home buyers with this. And the truth is, pets can make less than desirable odors and smells. So before you put your home in the market, make sure to give it a deep cleaning. Our sense of smell has a powerful effect on our emotions, our memory and on our perception of things.

Aside from the usual vacuuming of floors and cleaning counter-tops, make sure to cover as many tough spots as possible. This includes behind all furniture, underneath all throw rugs, and inside each closet.  Pet hair and dust do a great job at finding their way into those hard to access areas.

An initial urine odor on entering a house is sure to stick in the buyer’s mind, and he or she will likely deduct the cost of carpet replacement immediately from an offer as a result. Avoid this by having your carpet and flooring professionally cleaned, with a focus on removing pet odors. If the staining or odors are too bad, you may need to replace the carpet in the problem areas.

2. Declutter

When you have pets and you’re preparing your home for sale, it’s important to clean up after your pet’s belongings. This includes toys, beds, blankets or even their litter pans.

The last thing you want is potential buyers having to do so much avoiding of your pets pile of stuff while going around the house. Tuck these things in a closet or basement. Like other forms of home staging, removing extra pet clutter is an important consideration when you are selling your property.

3. Clean the yard

If you have pets, make sure that the exterior is something you give extra attention. Pick up any messes in the backyard and have any sod replaced and other damage repaired as necessary. These things may seem like small tasks but they can make a huge impact on a potential buyer’s outlook of your home. One of the best tips, when selling a home with pets, is to make sure you don’t neglect the yard as this is just important to some buyers as the inside of the home.

4. Have Your Home Checked For Fleas

If you suspect that your pets carry fleas, have a professional inspect further. Fleas and other pests can scare away potential buyers and is something you should address before anyone walks through your home.

5. Repair Any Interior Damage

Pet damage is never attractive when selling your home. Dogs and cats will inevitably destroy something, including carpets, furniture, hardwood flooring, walls, and doors. All of these should be repaired prior to showing the home. This may require some investment on your part, especially if the animal has damaged expensive items like your hardwood flooring or walls in your house. Regardless of the cost of repair, though, the value you will get for your house will be well worth paying for the repairs.

6. Remove Pets during Showings

When selling a home with pets, at the very least, you should remove them from your home when you are showing the property for sale. All the cute things your dog does will not help you sell your home, and will only remind the potential buyer that the house has contained pets previously.

You may relocate your pets to a friend or a relative while you’re selling your home. Other possible places to relocate is a kennel or a day care service for animals.

There are times where it may not be possible to remove a pet from a home. Maybe due to your job you just can’t come back and remove them or you can’t find anyone who will help take care of them. If this is the case your last resort is to secure them in crates. It’s not a smart decision to allow your pets to wander free during home showings as it can make some potential buyers very uncomfortable.


Selling a home with pets can certainly be challenging. It can bring additional work and effort into the equation. Remember to take the steps above before you list your home for sale.