Does Your Home Smell "Pet Ready" to Sell?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. BK629999

Bailey the BoxerSo many owners have pets today.  I recently read an article that said that over 75% of homeowners have some type of pet.  That means dogs and cats, guinea pigs and gerbils, turtles and fish, birds and snakes. 

Well, whatever type of pet you have...we can all agree that we all love our pets.  After all, they're part of the family, aren't they?

But, when it comes to selling your home, buyers don't want to be reminded about your sweet little furry critter. 

There is no bigger turn off when walking through the front door of a home than the "smell" of your pet. 

I have seen buyers turn on their heel and walk right back out if they even catch a hint of a smelly pet.

So, sellers, be very careful that your home is deoderized and ready to "smell" BEFORE that prospective buyer walks through the front door.

 ...Bailey the Boxer

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Melbourne FL Real Estate, Sandy Shores, Realtor

 

Sandy Shores, Broker   

Melbourne Real Estate

M & M Realty of Brevard, Inc. 

Residential, New Construction, Relocations & Investment

Brevard County FL Real Estate 18 Years

Brevard County FL Resident 39 Years 

Serving Melbourne, Palm Bay, Suntree, Viera, Rockledge, Cocoa,  Merritt Island, Titusville, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Indialantic & Melbourne Beach

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
617,419
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Hi Teresa and Stacy,  You're right - cigarette smells are as bad as pet smells if not worse.  Good to know that you have info from Serv-Pro on what can be done to help sellers get ready for the market. Hang in there and keep up the good job!

September 24, 2008 08:12 PM #7
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

It's really a serious problem and very hard to fix .. especially cat urine (I think that's the worst).  A lot of sellers get used to the odor and don't even realize it's there.

September 24, 2008 08:15 PM #8
Rainmaker
617,419
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Hi Sam, I know it's really tough when it gets in the floor.  I like your saying, because it is so true...you're right we can't sell it if buyers smell it.  Funny that you mentioned cat urine.  I have a number of rental homes.  None have wood floors though, mostly terrazzo and tile...however I do not like to rent to people with cats.  I much prefer dogs.  I really hesitate with cats and most often I don't take them or I charge a larger pet fee on move on.  It is absolutely a NO on the couple of homes I still have with carpeting. 

September 24, 2008 08:16 PM #9
Ambassador
725,391
Christopher and Stephanie Somers - Realtors - Philadelphia Real Estate
Realtor / Owner - RE/MAX Access - Philadelphia, PA

Great post with a smart reminder !  An even better photo !!!!  Most people that have pets cannot really even smell it - they just get used to it.  So it can be a difficult communication sometimes : )

September 24, 2008 08:18 PM #10
Rainmaker
617,419
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Eric,  I agree, I am terribly allergic to cats and cat litter boxes.  I can smell a cat the minute I walk in the front door. Within minutes my eyes and neck start itching and my nose starts running.  I can usually tell you exactly where the litter box is also.  They're a big turn off to buyers!

September 24, 2008 08:19 PM #11
Rainmaker
617,419
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Kristina,  I agree, I just mentioned the allergies to Eric.  Many people can't live in a house that previously has had animals or cigarettes.  I also have experienced the opposite effect - the plug ins and the air fresheners.  Those make my eyes and nose run also. It is a very tough situation to overcome.

September 24, 2008 08:23 PM #12
Rainmaker
617,419
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Jim,  I think that you're right.  Some people don't even realize that the smells are there anymore, because they have grown so accustomed to them.

September 24, 2008 08:25 PM #13
Rainmaker
216,249
Richard Shuman
The Only B.S. I Have is from the University of Massachusetts - Longwood, FL
Realtor, Broker - Preferred Realty of Florida - ww

I've been in many homes where the clients have no idea their home smells of their pets, good, bad or otherwise. They are exposed to it all day and become immune to the smell and often become offended when I tactfuly mention it. It's a sensitive issue to address but not to saying anything could mean a house on the market for longer than necessary. It's better to speak up with general suggestions on how to neutralize a smell of the home, (avoiding the comment "Your house smells like dog.") than to make excuses as to why the home is on the market for so long.

September 24, 2008 08:25 PM #14
Rainmaker
617,419
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Christopher and Stephanie,  Thanks for the comment and the compliment on the pet that I love!  I think you made an excellent point.  It can be a rather difficult and awkward communication to an owner trying to tell them that Fido is smelling up the place.  It's a tough spot to be in. But, as we all know, it absolutely has to be addressed before a home hits the market!

September 24, 2008 08:27 PM #15
Rainmaker
617,419
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Hi Richard, Christopher and Stephanie had just made a similar comment as to how difficult it can be to bring an issue like this to the attention of the owner.  As you mentioned, it has to be dealt with before the sign goes in the front yard.  Honesty is always best in a tough situation as this. Otherwise, as you said the home will grow stale on the market for something that could have been addressed.

September 24, 2008 08:30 PM #16
Rainmaker
453,501
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Absolutely right. In the "Preparing Your Home For Sale" section of my website I addressed this issue. Unfortunately most pet owners don't realize their home smells, and a few will argue the point. The sense of smell is a very powerful emotional trigger--and, properly used can aid a sale. I always recommend getting the opinion of unbiased outsiders, including the agent.

September 24, 2008 08:52 PM #17
Rainmaker
453,501
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Absolutely right. In the "Preparing Your Home For Sale" section of my website I addressed this issue. Unfortunately most pet owners don't realize their home smells, and a few will argue the point. The sense of smell is a very powerful emotional trigger--and, properly used can aid a sale. I always recommend getting the opinion of unbiased outsiders, including the agent.

September 24, 2008 08:53 PM #18
Rainmaker
238,110
Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

One of the agents I used to work with had a listing that the whole house smelled of birds and dogs.  Why?  Because they bred dogs and had over 50 birds in cages.  The homeowner new his home would not sell, and it didn't.

September 24, 2008 09:01 PM #19
Rainmaker
652,546
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

The owners usually never seem to smell the animals making it more difficult for them to understand they need to do something.

September 24, 2008 10:34 PM #20
Rainmaker
652,546
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Pets smells are difficult and to add to the problem the owners usually never seem to smell them.

September 24, 2008 10:34 PM #21
Rainmaker
617,419
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Hi John, Good idea to have that information about smells in the preparing your home for sale section of your website.  I think that pet owners do get accustomed to smells in their home, and after a while they just don't realize that they're there anymore.  However, buyers immediately smell them when they pass through the front door. Have a great weekend!

September 25, 2008 08:50 AM #22
Rainmaker
617,419
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Angelia, It's funny that you said that the listing agent knew that the house would not sell because of 50!!!!!!!! birds and breeding dogs, and it didn't.  For me, I think I probably would not have taken the listing.  That one would seem to be an exercise in futility.

September 25, 2008 08:52 AM #23
Rainmaker
617,419
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Bob & Carolin,  It is a very difficult situation, especially when people are so emotionally attached to their animals.  Somehow they seem like they feel that it is a reflection on them if the house smells, but it really isn't.  It is just something that must be addressed before the home goes on the market!

September 25, 2008 08:54 AM #24
Rainer
12,691
Bonita Malone
Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
GRI, SFR, CDPE

Cigarette smoke is another big turn off. Smokers are so used to the smell that they do not even know it's there. Getting out these odors can be a major task as well since they get into the walls and carpet.

October 01, 2008 09:07 PM #25
Rainmaker
617,419
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Hi Bonita, I agree.  I am allergic to cigarettes and the minute I walk into a home with smokers I feel it right away.  It can be a big turn off for many.  I recently got a rental house back from a tenant that had been with us of over 5 years.  We had to literally wipe the walls down with chlorine to get the yellow off of them from the cigarette smoke, before we could start painting.  Luckily there's no carpeting.  With a fresh coat of paint there's no lingering smells.  Thanks for the comment!

October 01, 2008 10:45 PM #26
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