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Your Pets Affect the Value of Your Home

There’s a lot to do when preparing to sell your home. If you’re one of the more than 84 million American households with at least one pet, your to-do list is bit longer. But it’s a list you should pay close attention to.

An animal-damaged home sells about as well as one that hasn’t been updated in 30 years. Realtors estimate that sellers will have to reduce their selling price by two to three times the amount the cost of deep cleaning and fixing pet damage would cost. It comes down to a bigger cleaning bill, or a lower selling price.

Here’s what should go on that bill to maximize your list price and increase the number of buyers interested in your home.

  • Replace chewed and scratched up baseboards, other wood molding, doors, and door frames
  • Replace scratched flooring—if you have hardwood floors, consider refinishing them
  • Replace carpet, carpet pads, and subflooring damaged and permanently smelly from pet urine—even if you don’t think your cat or dog has peed on your carpeting, pet odor can seep into the padding and linger longer after a professional cleaning
  • Professionally clean all fabric-covered furniture and window dressings
  • Revive destroyed landscaping, including patches of dead grass
  • Clean out air vents and replace air filters
  • Replace damaged window and door screens
  • Slap a fresh coat of paint on the walls, baseboards, doors, and trim
  • Conduct thorough and repeated cleanings of all rooms and surfaces to eliminate as much pet hair, dander, and saliva as possible—you don’t want potential buyers having allergic reactions to your home!

It isn’t all bad—or expensive—news, however.

If you’ve made pet-friendly upgrades to your home—like installing an invisible or wood fencing around the yard, a dog-run, built-in pet doors, or built-in food and water bowl holders in the kitchen—don’t be afraid to use these as selling points to other pet lovers!

Immediately before each viewing of your home, clean the litter box out and do a sweep of the yard for any recent droppings from the family dog. Pick up feeding dishes, treats, dog beds, cat trees, and toys so visitors aren’t tripping over them.

Ideally, you should remove pets from the house while it’s on the market to keep the place as spotless and odor-free as possible. Ask your broker or a friend without pets if they can smell any lingering odors, as you may be nose blind to them.

After all of that hard work, be sure to appreciate your spotless space!

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