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July 27th, 2011 (Modified on July 29th, 2011)

Are your pets soiling your resale value?



pet stainsTo sound like a broken record just one more time: Homeowners are struggling to get every cent they can out of their homes these days. If your home is on the market, finding a qualified buyer is harder enough, and given the mass inventory of distressed real estate, getting max value for your home has never been harder.

With that said, have you ever considered the impact your pets have and continue to have on your home’s potential resale value? If not, you should.

Boston-area broker David Crowley told Boston.com blogger Scott Van Voorhis (coming soon: Scott’s first contribution to HSH.com, “7 problems with online listings”) that he saw a condo go for $20,000-$30,000 less because of “cat issues.”

For those of you out there familiar with the smell of cat urine, it’s potent, it stains and it’s an instant turn-off for buyers trying to envision themselves in a particular home.

For those still doubting me on the potential impact cats and other pets can have on your home’s resale value, understand that your home doesn’t have to resemble the ramshackle dwelling of the neighborhood cat lady.

You can live in the wealthiest part of town and maintain your home beautifully, but if kitty doesn’t make it to the litter box in time (one too many times), it won’t matter what your home looks like…it will matter what your home smells like

It was not an upkeep issue – the owner kept the unit in impeccable condition. But clearly the furry inhabitant of this upscale Back Bay condo must have done his business on the floor boards, leaving a smell that was just enough to turn off picky buyers.

4 ways pets can ruin your resale value

Don Phelan of Factoidz.com explains that there are four main ways pets can hurt your home’s resale value:

1) odor

2) property damage

3) being present at the time of a showing

4) making too much noise

Sellers: Make your home pet-free

What should sellers with pets do?

Besides getting on your hands and knees to scrub out any stains in your carpets or furniture, sellers should ship their pets off to a kennel or to a friend or family member for a temporary stay, fumigate for unwanted smells and, as Van Voorhis puts it, “get on your knees and pray potential buyers can’t detect any stray pet scents.”

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One Response to “Are your pets soiling your resale value?”

  1. Vinnie Says: January 3rd, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I found a permanent answer for smoking and pet odors. One simple application removes odors from the air, carpets, curtains and furniture. While researching the internet, I came across a product that you mix with paint that eliminates all odors by releasing negative ions in the air, works by convection currents, warm air rises cool air falls creating a natural flow of air across the painted walls. I’m a painting contractor and a year ago I moved into a new home, the previous owner had pets and also smoked. In order to eliminate the problem, I painted, all the inside walls with a fresh coat of paint and added the Air-ReNu additive it’s been a year. Works like a charm, no odor, no electricity, no filters and no problems. Might be something to consider if you have an odor problem, their web site? http://www.air-renu.com

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HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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