Beware: Pet Odors Can Affect The Sale Of Your Home!

Wendy Mundy
Wendy Mundy
Published on October 18, 2017

Humans are known for having a extremely adaptable sense of smell. This means that even if a smell is offensive to us in the beginning, we tend to get used to it as our noses become less sensitive to the particular odor. With that in mind, you can then go about your business without even noticing the smell at all.

But even though this adaptability is seen as a good thing, it can cause a lot of problems if you want to sell your home and have a pet. Many homeowners have a pet for companionship and comfort reasons, but the truth is that animals also bring with them some odors that may not appeal to potential buyers. As a realtor, one of the issues we face is viewing a home and realizing that there is a strong pet odor on the property which we then have to sensitively discuss with the owner. This can often be quite an awkward conversation to have as some people don’t realize there is a problem and they think of their pets as a member of the family.

As such it can be very difficult to talk to sellers about their pet and sometimes they do not want to listen to the advice of their realtor on this issue. But, they really should, as pet odors can literally kill a sale if you don’t take the problem seriously. When a realtor comes to your home, you need to remember that they are going to give you the best advice they can to sell your home quickly and efficiently, even if you may not want to hear it. The best thing you can look for in a realtor is that they have your best interests at heart and are always honest with you.

What you need to understand as a home owner is that a pet odor could really mean the end of a home sale!

The reality is that nothing turns a buyer off a home quicker than a lingering and unpleasant odor, pet or , otherwise. If you have a pet then the chances are that you will need to have a conversation with your realtor about it, and this is a common issue that many agents face with clients. Most people who live in a home with a pet don’t realize the strong smell that can come with keeping an animal in your house. But what you need to understand is that if this is preventing you from selling your home then it is a problem!

Pet odors can truly prevent a sale and if you want to sell your home for top dollar then you need to address this problem as quickly as possible before you put your home on the market. Even if you don’t notice any pet odors in your home, you are still going to have to look at this and ask your agent if they think there is an issue. Most agents are very honest as they want you to get the best deal for your home so they will immediately tell you the truth. Make sure you listen to your realtor. If they say there is an issue then make sure you deal with it!

Some tips for dealing with pet odors:

  1. Ensure good ventilation


The quickest way to get rid of pet odors in your home is to open your windows and doors so that the air can circulate. This may be more challenging in the winter months when the weather is cold but it is still important to try and let air in and out of your home even when the weather is hot or cold. This will help the bad smells to blow out of your home and although you can’t rely on this strategy alone, it is a great first step.


  1. Remove your pet


This may sound like tough advice when you are selling your home and have a pet. The reality is that if your pets are allowed to roam all over your home, then you are going to have problems with pet odors that could affect a sale. If selling your home is important to you, then you need to think about whether you could ask a friend or a family member to watch your pet for you for a few weeks so that potential buyers can view your home without the lingering smell of your pet.


  1. Wash everything


Odors from pets are not just in the air. Often they accumulate on fabrics, especially if your pet is allowed to sit on something like a couch or a carpet. Make sure that you wash everything including blankets, your pet’s bed, linens and even your drapes. Basically, anything that can be put in the washing machine needs to be washed. Once you are done you may be surprised at how much this changes the smell of your home. If you have any fabrics that need to be laundered or steamed in order to prevent them from being damaged then it is worth the extra expense if it means selling your home quickly and for the best price.


  1. Clean the floors


If you can psychically clean them then you should! This doesn’t mean you have to scrub everything with strong bleach but you do need to buy a range of appropriate home cleaners and clean all surfaces and floors to remove any odors. You can now buy products which are meant to purposely remove pet odors or you can just mix a little bleach of 1:9 parts water and clean your walls and any concrete areas. Make sure you also look at spots on floors, counters, window sills and even molding.


  1. Clean your carpets


There are a number of ways that you can do this but it is important that you get your carpets cleaned. The best option is to pay a professional to clean your carpets as they will do a thorough job and get rid of any unwanted smells. If you are able then you may be able to buy cleaning products and do this yourself but it helps to ask your realtor to check your home after you have cleaned it to make sure the smells are gone.


  1. Invest in an ozone machine


A great way to get pet odors out of your home is to get an ozone machine. This also works with other things like cigarette smoke as well as pet odors and you can place it in your home and will probably be surprised at how well it cleans out pet smells. An ozone machine basically works by killing the spores and bacteria that cause bad odors so this is a great machine to use when you are putting your home on the market.


  1. Replace anything you can’t clean


The reality is that, however much you clean your home, there may be some areas that are impossible to clean. If you find that the pet odor in your home is very strong then you may need to replace some items in your home if you are unable to clean them to get rid of the smell. Some things that this could apply to include carpets and padding as the pad under a carpet usually soaks up smells and is very difficult to clean. This may seem like an expense upfront but it will be more than worth it if you can eliminate any pet odors from your home completely.


  1. Prepare for your move ahead of time


Once you have cleaned your home then you can start showing it to potential buyers. Providing you have done everything properly such as getting a good realtor and choosing the right price for your home, then you should be able to sell your property fairly quickly. With this in mind, you need to think ahead of time about how you are going to move with your pets. Like it or not, this can actually lead to a lot of stress so you need to have a plan in place before you are actually on the point of moving. You may want to ask a friend or family member to let your pet live with them while you show your home and sell it, so that any pet odors don’t creep back in after all your hard work!


As a final thought, it is really important to remember that pet odors can kill a sale and you could lose out on selling your home to someone who may otherwise have bought it from you. Buyers may love your property, but if they are sensitive to your pet odor then they may be worried that they will never be able to make the smell go away. With that in mind, if you have a pet, make sure that you think about this before you put your home up for sale.

Good luck with selling your home!

If you’re in the market to sell your home you’ll find this of importance! “Killer Marketing Secrets” 

Wendy Mundy Realtor, “Your Concerns Are My Priority”