In the UK, 43% of households have a pet, meaning it is only logical that a large number of the properties currently on the market are also home to a furry friend.
While some true animal lovers may be able to see past hairy carpets and litter trays that the nation’s more than 14 million pet cats and dogs are responsible for, the majority of viewers will not, so it is really important for vendors to consciously address pet-issues throughout the property marketing process.
Removing Tell-Tale Signs of Pets
The first thing that pet owners will need to address when beginning the process of selling their home is to address the obvious indications of pets in their home. Homeowners need to take a tour of their rooms before property photography takes place or virtual tours are created and stash and hide all visual clues of their cats and dogs. Things that should be put out of sight include:
- Pet food and water bowls
- Pet beds
- Litter trays
- Pet toys
- Dog leads
Some buyers may be so averse to the idea of pets that images including these items will put them off at a subconscious level before they even consider viewing a home.
Gardens should be kept clear of pet waste at all times as buyers may drive by to check out kerb appeal in advance of viewing.
Addressing the Pet Issue at Viewings
When interested parties view a home, it is important that they are not immediately confronted with evidence of pet ownership. If vendors are showing a home on an appointment by appointment basis then they should consider dogs taken for walks or placing a cat in a carrier for the duration of the appointment, viewers should not come face to face with pets at any point, nor should they be bombarded by barking on arrival at the front door. Planning an open house and kennelling a dog for the day can help to simplify the process, as dogs will be shielded from the stress of a stream of strangers in their home.
Homes with pets can also be affected by odours so will need airing well in advance of viewings. Regular vacuuming during the property marketing process is a must and carpets and upholstery should be treated with a fabric deodoriser developed for homes with pets.