1. Remove all signs of pets

If you do your staging right, a potential buyer who tours your home shouldn’t even be able to tell a pet lives there. And remember, buyers will look everywhere, so just tucking your pet’s belongings in a closet won’t cut it. Pack up and remove everything pet-related, including:

  • Kennels or crates
  • Toys
  • Water and food bowls
  • Pet food
  • Pet beds
  • Dog houses or cat condos
  • Cat climbers or scratching posts
  • Leashes
  • Pictures of family pets 

You might even consider replacing a dog or cat door before listing.

2. Ensure marketing materials are pet-free

Just as you should remove all evidence of your pets before an open house or showing, you’ll want to do the same thing before you have real estate photographs taken. Also make sure to avoid shooting photos of any pet damage, like ripped window screens, chew marks, or torn up lawns. After all, these photos will be used everywhere, including your MLS listing, Zillow, and flyers around the neighborhood.

3. Don’t market your home as pet-friendly

Unless there are permanent structures on your property that can’t easily be removed, like a dog run or a chicken coop, don’t advertise your home as pet-friendly. If pet-owning buyers come for a tour, they can determine the pet friendliness of your home and neighborhood on their own. 

Remember, while pet owners might be excited to see a fully-fenced yard or a neighborhood dog park nearby, you don’t want to risk pet-free buyers avoiding your property because they’re not interested in the pet-related amenities.

4. Repair damage done by pets

It’s easy to overlook the damage that your pet has done to your home over time, since you walk past it every day. But potential buyers view homes with a critical eye, and even small blemishes can make a buyer think you haven’t taken good care of the property. Make these repairs before listing:

Interior repairs

  • Stained or torn carpets
  • Scratched, worn, or torn furniture
  • Scratched hardwood or other flooring
  • Claw or chew marks on doors, walls, baseboards, or window sills
  • Ripped curtains

Exterior repairs

  • Pet waste
  • Signs of digging in the lawn
  • Trampled bushes or grass
  • Damaged fencing
  • Torn window screens

5. Deep clean before listing

Whether you have a pet or not, doing a deep clean on your home before listing is a must. And when you have a pet, cleaning is even more important, as bad smells like dog odor or cat odor in the house are one of the first things that will send potential buyers running. Consider calling in a professional cleaning service and carpet cleaners to tackle pet smells, stains, hair, and the like.  

How to get rid of pet stains

  • Spot treatments done by a professional carpet service
  • Try DIY natural cleaning solutions, like one made with a mixture of equal parts salt, white vinegar, and Borax. 
  • If your carpets are heavily soiled, you may have to remove the floor covering completely and replace it. But you won’t be alone — 26 percent of recent sellers report replacing carpet or flooring before listing. 

How to get rid of pet hair

  • Vacuum thoroughly and have a professional cleaning done to remove pet hair from carpet
  • Remove cushion coverings and launder them, and vacuum out furniture
  • Hire a furniture cleaning service to remove pet hair from furniture, then keep pets off 
  • Bathe your pet frequently
  • Brush or comb your pet outside, daily
  • Vacuum at least once a day, and again before showings (robotic vacuums can be a big help here)

How to get rid of pet odors in your house

  • Wash everything you can: furniture slipcovers, quilts, comforters, curtains, towels, and throw pillows
  • Clean your pet’s habitat, like fish tanks, cages, and bedding
  • Remove litter boxes or potty pads
  • Replace the filter in your HVAC system
  • Add a HEPA filter to absorb particles and dander
  • Steam clean furniture and curtains
  • Avoid air fresheners and scented candles that attempt to mask odor
  • Invite a friend over to do an honest sniff test

How to remove pet odor from carpet

  • Sprinkle dry baking soda onto the carpet, let sit for 30 minutes, then vacuum to remove dog urine smell
  • Hire a professional carpet cleaning service, or rent a carpet machine and do it yourself
  • Try pet urine removers and natural, pet-friendly cleaning solutions 
  • If the smell persists after cleaning, check to see if the carpet pad or subfloor may need to be replaced

Courtesy of Zillow