Walk Through the YardMost likely, your buyers will take a walk through your yard to see what it looks like and imagine their kids playing and running around - nothing can turn them off more than stepping in a pile of dog doo, though. Before every showing, take a walk around your yard and make sure there is nothing that could turn your buyers away. To be safe, you can always walk your dog away from home or always follow him with a bag when he goes outside.
If your yard suffers from brown splotches caused by your pet, you can alleviate the signs by putting new seed or sod down. You will also want to inspect the outside (and the inside for that matter!) of your home for signs of wear and tear. Torn screens, scratches at the door, holes in the yard and garden, and bite marks on the porch should all be repaired to make a good impression.
Remove All SignsLike kids, your pets can be hard on a home through daily wear and tear. Walk through your home and notice if there are any repairs that need to be made before putting your home on the market. You will also want to clean messy areas, like hair and stains on the floors and furniture. If you have carpets, you should strongly consider having them cleaned professionally if not replaced all together.
You are probably used to the smell of your home, and with that, comes the smell of your pet - which may not be as welcoming to possible buyers. You don't want to overwhelm your buyers with the scent of fake freshness, but you do want to make sure that Fido doesn't permeate the home. Have someone with a fresh nose (like your real estate agent) come in and tell you if you've done a good job removing the odor or not. You can also use deodorizers in the area that the pet resides the most to help remove the odor without just covering it up.
Take Care of Your PetWe're sure you do a great job caring for your pet on a day-to-day basis, but have you taken the necessary precautions to care for them during the sale of your home? The best idea is to make sure they have somewhere to go when you have showings so that the buyers don't see your pet, and are able to move around the home without being barked at. If your pet doesn't have somewhere they can go during showings, you may want to talk to your vet to see if there is any way you can help relieve pet stress during this time - as it can be unsettling for your dog to have so many new people walking through his territory. Or you can talk to a trainer to make sure that your pet will be okay being left in a kennel in the home during showings. You don't want to close off a room for the pet that the buyers can't get to.
Finally, you need to check your home insurance and make sure that your dog is covered. Did you know that if someone is bit by your pet on your property that you are held liable? Some insurance will include exclusions for your pet, meaning that they aren't covered. While other insurance companies will only exclude certain breeds that are considered dangerous. You should follow up on this even if you aren't selling your home.
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2011 REALTOR Salesperson of the Year
Missouri Association of Realtors
752 Bagnell Dam Blvd., Suite A
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
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