brown short coated dog on gray couch



Getting ready to sell your home is often as stressful as it is exciting. From packing up your things to worrying about getting the house ready for showings, there is a lot that goes into getting ready to sell your house. Whether you have children or pets or not, this process can be challenging and time-consuming, and it is certainly a bump in the road to your new life in your new home.


While pets are nowhere near as challenging as children, they still present some further hurdles when it comes to packing up your home and getting it ready to be sold. While is often said that a dog is a man’s best friend, you might not feel that way while you try to get all of the stains, scratches, and odors out of your house before you list it to be sold! If you know anyone with a big dog that has tried to sell their home, they will likely agree. Dogs do a lot of damage to a home, and most people try to patch up that damage before they sell their home.


While they add complications here and there, these reasons are hardly reasons to not get a pet. There will undoubtedly be some extra work when it comes to moving in and moving out, but this extra work is nothing compared to the memories that can be made during the time that you are living in the house. Dogs are playful, fun, obedient animals that add a whole new layer to your family dynamic. While dogs are great pets, we think that they are not the only animals that can be your best friend! Many people will proudly claim that cats, hamsters, snakes, ferrets, and fish can be man’s best friend, too! There is no limit to how much people can love their pets, and every pet owner is called to raise a different kind of animal.


Regardless of what kind of pet you have, the effect stays the same to some degree; selling your home as a pet owner is slightly more involved than selling your home if you do not have pets. While the cleanup for pets is in some ways easier than the cleanup for children, it still is not easy! This post is going to take a look at some of the biggest things you can do before selling your house as a pet owner, both to increase your home’s value and its final selling price. Doing some of these things could leave you with more money in your pockets at the end of the day, and much less stress along the way. On the flipside, buying a home as a pet owner can be a very tricky process, and there is a lot more to consider on that end. If you are a pet owner that also needs to find a new home, be sure to check out this blog post that we wrote on buying a home as a pet owner.


Why Should Pet Owners Do Anything Special When Selling Their Home?


As a pet owner, you might see pet ownership as an advantage when trying to sell your home. You know that your house is specially equipped to provide a home to pets, and you have personal experience that can attest to this! Many prospective homebuyers are looking for a safe place to live with their pets, just like you probably are looking for a safe place to move with them. In some ways, this could be seen as an advantage, as you can personally show that the house is a nice place for pets to live. For some people, this might be an effective sales strategy!

However, the vast majority of buyers do not want to buy a house that has had pets living in it. Many people see pet ownership as a negative when shopping for a new home, and it is usually advised that you do all that you can to conceal the fact that pets have lived in your home for the past several years. This post is going to focus largely on the things that you can do to conceal the fact that pets have been living in your home, in order to appeal to a larger number of buyers. Everything in this post is just meant to be taken as suggestions that can leave you with a cleaner, purified house to sell, and this post is in no way meant to encourage lying about pet ownership. It is very important when selling your house that you are perfectly honest and transparent with prospective buyers. However, if you do a good enough job with the steps outline below, they might never even ask or know otherwise!



What Things Should Pet Owners Do Before Selling Their Home?


1.     Remove every trace of pets from the house and its sale


black and white miniature schnauzer


The first things to understand when selling your house as a pet owner is that you should do all that you can to conceal the fact that you are a pet owner. This does not mean that you should lie, as you should always be fully honest and transparent when selling your home. However, doing all that you can to make it appear as if your home has not hosted pets can only help you when trying to sell it. Most buyers do not want to buy houses that have hosted pets, because they know the damage that pets do to a home. As a pet owner, you probably know this too! Face it – knowing that someone else’s dog spent years having accidents all over the carpet is not the most appetizing though when seeing a new home. If the owner does a good enough job to clean up, though, this thought might never cross your mind as a buyer.


As a seller, your goal should be to make your house so clean that buyers don’t even think about pets. While you probably love your dog a lot, not everyone loves pets. In fact, the majority of people buying a home do not want to buy a home that has been lived in by pets. While a certain segment of the homebuying market likely would love to hear about Lucky and all of your memories with him, the majority of people would rather assume that the house was pet-free. If asked, you should never lie about having had pets. However, if you do a good enough cleanup job, some prospective buyers might never ask at all.


2.     Repair all pet damage to the house


green potted leaf plant beside white wooden door


These next four points all tie into the first one. It is important to remove all traces of your pets from the house, but how exactly do you do that? The first is to repair all damages that your pet caused to both the interior and the exterior of the house. The most visible signs of pet ownership tend to come in the form of stains, scratches, and dents. You may not even notice many of these things, as you see them daily and get accustomed to them. However, when prospective buyers come to see your home, they will notice the scratches on the wall and the stains on the living room carpet pretty quickly. These are the most obvious things that you should make an effort to repair.


On top of just these obvious ones, you should also try to undo any other small modifications to the home that show that you had pets. If you have a removable doggy door, a doghouse, a pole in the yard to leash your dog to, or other similar things, it’s often best to remove them before showing the house to prospective buyers. Some fixtures are more permanent, and you shouldn’t spend a lot of money trying to get rid of these things, but making an attempt to get rid of the easier things is usually a good idea. Before doing anything major, discuss it with your realtor.


3.     Deodorize every room and space in the house


person holding white ceramic mug


Making visual repairs is very important, but it only takes care of one sense. Pets leave traces that trigger more than just the sense of sight! While you may have gotten accustomed to the odor of your pet, most prospective buyers probably have not. Deodorizing your home is one of the most important things that you can do before showing it to prospective buyers. Regardless of how often you clean them, pets always carry some sort of odor with them, and this scent is not the first impression that you want prospective buyers to have of your home.


When you are deodorizing your home, there are a lot of different aspects to consider. You should wash all clothes, sheets, and removable furniture covers, shampoo the carpets, steam the furniture and drapes, and replace your HVAC filters that are likely housing pet hair and dander. You could use air fresheners, but its recommended that you only use them in addition cleaning the things that we listed above, as air fresheners often just make dirty, smelly air feel even heavier. You should focus on cleaning the air itself before making it smell like fresh linens. After all, if you use a fresh linen air freshener in a house filled with dog dander, it will just make the house smell like a dog sitting on top of freshly washed sheets – not exactly the solution to your problem.


4.     Ensure all pet hair and dander has been cleaned up and removed from the house



Pet hair can be a major deterrent for prospective homebuyers, as it works its way into all of the nooks and crannies in the house. In a way, dog and cat hairs are like cockroaches; if you see one, there are likely countless others hiding in the cracks. Vacuuming all of the dog and cat hair off of the couch is a start, but moving all of the furniture, vacuuming behind appliances, and vacuuming under rugs is just as important. Dog hair is unsightly, and you don’t want it to be the reason someone decides not to buy your home.


While dog hair is unsightly for some, it is actually uncomfortable for others. Many people have dog allergies, and these allergies can cause immediate symptoms like congestion, eye discomfort, and trouble breathing. Often, if there is still dog or cat hair and dander laying around the house, prospective buyers’ bodies will notice it instantly. If their allergies act up during a tour, it is almost a guarantee that they will not buy the house.


5.     Remove all pet items and spaces from the house


black and tan short coat medium sized dog lying on floor


The last big thing you need to do to remove all traces of your pets from your house before selling it is to remove any visible pet items or pictures of your pet. While you might not take down framed family portraits, it is often a good idea to take down any pictures that include your pets. Cleaning up from their years of wear and tear is important, but many buyers will see a dog in a family photo and immediately make up their mind not to buy the house, regardless of how good it smells.


For this reason, you need to make sure that all pet items and pet pictures are put away before the showings begin. Food dishes, leashes, pictures, chew toys, and any other items involving your pets can easily be tucked away before any showings begin, and making sure that you do this, as well as the other steps above, will likely go a long way in your final selling price and how long it takes you to sell your home.


6.     Keep pets out of all listing pictures and marketing materials


black and white short coated dog on brown bear plush toy


Once the house is fully cleaned and all signs of your pets are removed from the property itself, the last thing you need to do is that you remove any mention of your pets from the listing and its promotional materials. It would be a major waste of time and money to put so much effort into cleaning your home, just to advertise to all potential buyers via the listing that you are the proud owner of two golden retrievers.


There are several ways that you could accidentally signal to your potential buyers that you are a pet owner, and you want to do all that you can to avoid them. Obviously, you do not want to outright mention that you own pets. However, your promotional materials and listing could be inadvertently advertising your pet ownership to the world. In your listing and flyers, you want to make sure that all photos do not include pets or pet items, as this defeats the whole purpose of putting in so much time and effort into cleaning up your home. Similarly, it is best to avoid terms like “pet-friendly” as typically only pet owners think to include things like this.



That is all we have for you in terms of things pet owners should do before selling their home! Selling your home can be a very stressful process, especially as you come to terms with selling the memories that you have made along the way. Hiding your pet’s presence may feel like a betrayal towards them, but you need to make sure you don’t let those emotions stop you. After all, your pets will have a nice new home to live in soon, and they will never remember the old place!

If you decide to visit Myrtle Beach or any other place in South Carolina and fall in love, reach out to us for help. We at The Boyd Team are always here to help you figure out whether Myrtle Beach is your next home or not, and we are committed to helping you find the right property for your needs and dreams. Any question that you have about moving to the area and finding your dream home by the beach is our pleasure to answer. Feel free to send us an email at or text or call us at (843) 222-8566, and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Being true natives of the Grand Strand and Horry County and with over 25 years of experience in the local real estate market, whether buying or selling, we can help you make your dreams a reality.  

No One Knows The Grand Strand Better! Trust, Knowledge, Experience, Professionalism, You Can Count On!


Written by Greg