Lockdown brought an increased interest in pet ownership across Ireland. A pet ownership survey by TILDA in 2019 showed that almost half (45%) of adults aged 50 years and over in Ireland own a pet with dogs being most common (38%) followed by cats (21%). While Dogs Trust alone saw an almost 6-fold increase in weekly re-homing enquiries over the period of lockdown, these figures have certainly increased. There is now an increased number of younger families who are pet owners as parents were working at home and had time to focus on introducing a new member of the family.
But now the family has expanded or flown the nest and it’s time to think about selling. How do I do this with my dog, cat or other pet around?
We always recommend a certain amount of cleaning, repairing and updating on any property before it goes to market. The potential buyers should be able to look past your belongings and create their own vision on a blank canvas. This is true too of a pet and you need to minimize their presence in the house. Here’s a couple of simple and quick things that you can do.
Over the years, puppies, dogs, kittens and cats will have inflicted varying degrees of damage on their surroundings such as scratched floors, chewed skirting boards/doors or stains on carpets. It’s essential you do as much as possible to clean, repair and remove these marks. And just as importantly don’t forget the garden. If the lawn has been dug up or damaged, repair it. Or it may be as simple as making extra sure there’s no dog dirt in the grass or hiding behind plant pots.
Pet odours, however gentle they may be, become hard to notice to their owners as they live with them year round. For a total stranger entering a property however, these smells can be pungent and very off putting. A strong odour is one of the top reasons a buyer will pass on buying a home. Do all you can to reduce and remove any odours. Have carpets and floors deep cleaned and work on airing out the house in the weeks leading up to viewings. Fresh scents can be assisted by using diffusers.
Don’t distract potential buyers thoughts by having signs of your pet lying around the house. You may find this endearing but a potential buyer may not have a pet. They may well be prompted to look for signs of damage or seek out bad smells instead of imagining their future in the property. Again, think of the blank canvas you are trying to create for people. Remove bedding, litter trays, toys, food and any other pet clutter.
Most pet owners regard their pet as a member of the family. So when viewings are going on treat them as such. Remove your pet from your home for the viewing - you wouldn’t leave your child in the house for a viewing so why would you leave your pet? It may seem obvious but you do need to take into account other people’s fears and allergies when pets are concerned. This may be slightly inconvenient but it is better for both your pet and potential buyers.
If you’re thinking about selling, get in touch with us for a FREE property valuation. We’re happy to give you expert advice about how to prepare your home for sale to help you achieve the best outcome possible.