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I Want To Sell My Home But I Have Pets...Help!

The emotional support turkey, pig and peacock in the news recently for being turned away at airlines’ gates has led to at least one airline putting a tighter leash on what qualifies as an “emotional support animal.” Say goodbye to possums, spiders and snakes riding alongside their human companions. But all these animals make us wonder: how do these critters live at home? Any homeowner faces a challenge when selling a home with pets. What considerations should you keep in mind as you spruce up the house to put it on the market?


Nosy Neighbor

Odors are the #1 problem for selling a home with pets, say experts at How Stuff Works. If you share your San Diego condo or San Diego home with four-legged, no-legged, or winged animals, you may have become “nose blind” to the pet odors stewing within your walls.

Invite a trusted neighbor over to give your home a sniff test, and emphasize to her or him you want a candid opinion. People with pets often joke that they feel like they are operating a zoo, but nobody wants to buy a house that smells like the San Diego Zoo.

The pet odors are only one assault to the senses in an animal-filled home. With a cold, calculating eye (pet owners often overlook what they live with every day), consider these issues:

  • Landscaping — Curb appeal begins, rightly, at the curb of your San Diego dream home. What does your front yard look like, from street to doorway? Pet damage can include digging, fence chewing, discolored grass, toys strewn about or even pet leavings (clean ‘em up!)
  • Interior damage — Teething canines will chew baseboards and door casings, outside corners of drywall, storm door screens and window screens, and more. Scratches on wood floors are common. Staining on bare wood, wall-to-wall carpet, or even walls (male cats especially) must be addressed!

Whether you are trying to sell a foreclosure property or your own home, buyers are put off by obvious signs of property neglect. If needed, hire a professional cleaning crew to deodorize, remove stains and restore trim and walls before the showings.

Be Strong

If you do happen to occupy or own a San Diego county property with pet damage, take heart. You can find help through a professional real estate agent. Just as that neighbor helped with an odors test, a real estate agent can come through and assess the damage that must be fixed often with step-by-step instructions.

Americans love their pets, so pet damage is a very common problem, both here in the hot San Diego real estate market and nationwide.

In many cases, common pet issues are easily remedied and, for some damage, are do-it-yourself projects:

  • Landscaping — Clean up the yard, front back and sides, removing pet toys and leavings, filling holes and rejuvenating damaged areas with either fertilizer or replacement sod
  • Walls — Spackle applies easily, filling dents and chewed areas, drying overnight. Stain block primer can help prevent pet stains from re-emerging; let dry for a day and then apply fresh paint, either to match the walls if you have some touch-up paint or with a new color
  • Floors — Many grocery stores still rent steam carpet cleaners, which may remove rug stains; for wood floors, some swear by baking soda and vinegar, while the professionals at Wood Floor Business recommend considering a darkening stain

Your best guide to identifying and resolving pet issues is a trusted real estate salesperson, who can go through your San Diego home and determine all damage, seeing it with fresh eyes and smelling it with a fresh nose.

Open House

Depending on the time of year, simply opening your home up (windows and doors) to vent it can help. Talk to your San Diego Realtor® as early in the process of selling as possible. The Steeles, for example, have vast experience with pet homes and helping homeowners get them ready to sell.

We can provide a walk-through early on, spotting the most challenging pet damage projects that must be done to bring the home up to salable condition.

We can quickly gauge the difference between a fix-it-yourself project, like cleaning up a yard and a professional matter, like possibly replacing carpets.

We can also recommend places to board your pets to keep them safely out of your home during Open Houses, so potential buyers or investors see the property without the dogs and cats.

Another advantage of going with a trusted team of professionals like the Steeles: we have the tried and true answers to getting your pet-friendly home ready, and the connections with all the trades needed to prepare your San Diego home for a great Open House. Contact Steele San Diego Homes today!

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Buying or selling a home is among the largest financial decisions a person makes in their lifetime. We are here to ensure that you are confident in your decision. Reach out, and let us show you how we can help!

John and Melissa Steele, San Diego Real Estate Agents

John and Melissa Steele