Did you see the Park City Follies? The first scene was all too real when the nice young couple moved to town and was bombarded by questions like “which nonprofit do you want to volunteer with?” and “what kind of dog do you want?” My experience with buyers relocating to Park City is that it is only a matter of time before they become “pet parents” if they are not already.
Most people, myself included, don’t think ahead to the impact pets have on a home. When you are in love with that new family member, we certainly don’t think about the impact the pet will have when it’s time to sell the home.
While pets are truly members our our families, owning pets when it’s time to sell your home can present a challenge. While you may want your home to appeal to prospective buyers who are pet-owner, it is wise to take steps to minimize damage pets may have caused and any evidence of the presence of pets as part of your preparation to ready your home for sale.
Replace damage from pets
Whenever possible, replace anything in the home that has been damaged by a pet. This could include replacing carpeting, refinishing wood floors, and repairing scratched walls and doors.
Deep clean, even when there is no visible damage
A deep clean is highly recommended as all scent and fur should be completely removed before showing your home. A professional cleaning company may be a wise investment. Many individuals are allergic to pets and you don’t want an otherwise perfect buyer to do an about face before seeing your home. I also recommend moving pet beds, food bowls, and litter boxes out of sight before each showing. These items can clutter a room and distract buyers.
Pet care during the home showing process
If your pet has a history of being anxious around new people, barking or biting, then the pet should be removed from the home for showings. I know agents who were bit by dogs who were supposedly “friendly”. Sometimes you can place the dog(s) in the yard for first showings and if the buyers really like the home, then the dog can be removed from the premises for the second showing. This has worked well for my clients. I have showed homes where a truly friendly dog followed me and the buyers around. This can prove to be a distraction for buyers and cause them to focus on the pet instead of the task at hand, which is the sale of your home!
How far is too far with pet-specific renovations?
The National Association of Realtors estimates that at least 61% of households in the United States own at least one pet or plan to in the future. That statistic is probably higher in Park City. Many pet owners install electric fences and dog doors. Be prepared to transfer the electric fence collars to the buyers if they own pets or replace the door with the cut out doggie door if the new owner doesn’t own a pet and isn’t planning on owning one.
There are many considerations for the pet-owning home buyer seeking the perfect property. Most want a location where it will be pleasant to walk their dog. Dog parks and proximity to trails are also very desirable. Some condominium projects in Park City do not allow pets and it is essential for pet-owning buyers to verify condominium rules before finalizing a purchase.
While Bark City” is one of the most animal-friendly towns we know, pets definitely impact the home buying and selling process. What are your thoughts?