Tips for Pet Owners Buying or Selling Their Home
When buying or selling a home, pet owners should keep the following tips in mind.
It doesn’t happen often, but buying a new home and selling your old one can be a hectic experience. There’s so much to do: finding a realtor, getting your home in show condition, looking at the perfect new abode, packing up…the list seems endless. When you’re both a home seller and buyer, you’re not only looking to see what appeals to you, but getting your house to look appealing to others. And when you have a pet, you have a little more work ahead of you.
We’ve put together this list of practical tips for pet owners who are home seekers and buyers on what they can do to make the process smoother…and not scare off any interested buyers with gigantic fur balls under the couch.
Finding the Perfect Pet-Friendly Home: Condos vs. Houses
The condo market has never been hotter. Increased demand for urban dwellings means that condominium space will be at a premium—new buildings seem to arise overnight in the major cities. Urban living has its benefits—the overall price may be more affordable, less commuting, and you’re steps away from dining, public transportation, entertainment and shopping. If you’re in the market for a chic condo suite, keep in mind that many condo boards have policies that limit the size or amount of pets allowed in a unit, or may ban them outright.
As you start to look, check first to see if the building allows pets, to make sure you aren’t wasting your time. Pet owners may be stuck with an additional monthly pet fee attached to their condo fees, or be subject to a breed ban. And with the smaller living space, make sure your pet will be able to adjust to the downsizing. There’s no backyard with a condo, which means you’ll be hoofing up and down the stairs (or elevators) when nature calls. Small, quiet dog breeds that don’t need much exercise, as well as cats, will do perfectly well in a condo environment.
With more room and property comes a steeper purchase price—but this may not be an issue for a two-income pet family that hankers for a back yard where their dog can run around.
Obviously the biggest perk of owning a house is a backyard for your dog to run around. Houses offer more room inside to roam about as well. Suburban life may not be as exciting as what the big city has to offer, but in a house, you’re able to comfortably fit a larger dog breed, without restrictions.
Home-Selling Tips for Pet Owners
Pet owners can run into problems when it comes time to sell their home. In the same way that smoking leaves a discernible odor in your home, so can the presence of a pet.
Before you put your house on the market, run through these tips that will help get the bidding war started:
- You may be nose-blind to your pet’s smell, but a guest in your home will notice right away. A top-to-bottom cleaning on all carpets, fabrics and hardwood will remove stains and pet odor. Rent a steam cleaner for a thorough job.
- Does your furniture have scratch or bite marks? Consider hiring a home stager, who will rent suitable furniture for your open house, while you store yours until the house sells.
- Do you have a yard? Potential house buyers look inside and out. Clean up all dog mess, fill in grass or dug-up holes, and make sure your flower beds don’t look like your dog’s play area.
- When showing the house, put away your pet’s bedding and toys so potential buyers can picture themselves and their own pets in their new home.
- Touch up scratches and stains on walls with a splash of paint—it goes a long way.
- Your house may not sell right away—you’ll have to tidy up after your pet daily, or think about boarding him at a facility or friend’s house for a few days, especially during an open house.