How to Sell a Home with Pets and Kids Living In It

house for sale

Children and pets are a source of joy, but not helpful when it comes to selling your home. Buyers need to imagine themselves living in your place, and that’s hard to do when someone else’s dogs and toddlers are in the way. The good news is, many pet-owning families have successfully sold their home. You can too, with a few simple tricks.

Deal with Damage

Take a close look at your home before you list it for sale. Kids and pets cause damage, and you may have been living with chewed carpets, crayon marks and scuffed paint on walls for so long that you no longer notice it. Repair, redecorate or remove the damage so you can show the house in its best condition. Take the opportunity to pack up any of the kids’ extra stuff and store it in anticipation of the move. Clear the Clutter

Kids and pets are messy, and they don’t stop being messy just because you want to sell your home. While your home may never be completely spick and span, hide as much clutter as you can from potential buyers. Clear a closet in your child’s room and use this to store toys and wayward clothes before a showing. If closet space is tight, invest in a few large baskets or boxes. Clutter-free rooms appear larger and are more enticing to buyers. Get the kids involved in the tidy-up process by reminding them of the great new rooms they get when you move. If that doesn’t work, bribe them with treats! Deodorize the Dog

Our sense of smell has a powerful effect on our emotions. A powerful hit of pet odor during a showing is sure to stick in a buyer’s mind, and it won’t leave a favorable impression. In fact, pet odors are the number one reason why home buyers pass on a home. The mere whiff of dog will leave you buyer thinking how much she needs to deduct from the offer price to cover the cost of a replacement carpet. Avoid this by having your furniture, drapes and carpets professionally cleaned, with a focus on removing odors. Open windows before showings and eliminate lingering smells with professional grade pet odor removers such as Odor Destroyer Pet Odor Remover. And for that extra touch, be sure to add desirable scents, such as flowers or freshly-brewed coffee. Stow the Culprits

You love your kids and pets, but certain buyers may not feel the same. The presence of small children and pets is a distraction, and you don’t want anything to pull focus from your home. The best advice is to remove your children and pets from the house while the showing is in progress. Hire a dog walker, and ask family or friends to take your cat/rabbit/snake and kids while your realtor works for you, showcasing your home. Or kill two birds with one stone by asking older children to walk the dog while a showing is in progress. Be Flexible

Life with kids can be hectic, so pull out your schedule and ask your agent to arrange showings around it. Be flexible, however. Not making your home available for showings will seriously affect your ability to sell. In the worst-case scenario, bundle the kids in the car and take them out for ice-cream while your realtor does her job.