According to website Statista, in the UK ” The pet population peaked in 2013 at 71 million, but as of 2018 is estimated to be around 51 million.” Given this statistic, it is highly likely that if you are selling you will be a pet owner. Perhaps you are downsizing with a pet and are struggling to sell. If you are selling and are a pet owner there are a few things to bear in mind. You love your pet, which means that you might not realise that not everyone shares your enthusiasm. Some people are allergic to animals or certain kinds of animal. Some people are scared of animals or particular animals, others simply don’t like animals. It doesn’t necessarily solve the issue simply to take the pet out when viewings are taking place, because things that provoke an allergic reaction, such as pet hair, may still be present. In extreme cases potential buyers won’t view or they take a quick look round and don’t take time to really consider the property. So if you want to downsize and have a pet, here are a few tips.
Pets have a lot of stuff just like us – beds, litter trays, food bowls, toys etc. These take up space, are distracting and are likely to be seen as clutter. Take advantage of the downsize to declutter some of your pet’s belongings as well as your own. You may have old beds, carriers or toys that are worn or no longer used. Food and water bowls may also be regarded as unhygienic if kept in places such as a kitchen or even on a worktop. Even if you are scrupulous about cleaning up buyers don’t know this and may think the worst. Tidy away toys just as you would with your children’s toys or your own belongings. If you don’t already have some storage then get some.
If you ever watched the programme Secret Agent with Phil Spencer, you may recall that this was a frequent theme (along with dog mess in the garden). He would enter a property and immediately make a comment. If you have a pet or pets you may be unaware of odours (and friends are probably too polite to tell you). Ask your agent, a friend or a neighbour to give you a frank and honest answer to the question “can you smell Fido/ Flossie ?” It is always a good idea to have carpets or rugs cleaned and also upholstery cleaned. It is easy to hire carpet and upholstery cleaners. Wash your curtains or have them dry cleaned. Cover furniture with throws that can easily be removed for viewings. Throw open the windows and keep your property well ventilated. It can be tempting to use room sprays, I’m not a fan because firstly, they can be a giveaway and secondly, they can be overpowering.
Have a routine for your viewings. Always take your pet out when viewings are taking place. I have found that whilst dog owners usually take the dog out, cats tend to be left in the property. Admittedly, they are less intrusive but bear in mind people’s allergies and attitudes and also the fact that they are a distraction whether it’s because the viewer wants to stroke it or the agent is trying to keep an eye on it and prevent it getting out so it is worth considering taking your cat out. Remove litter trays, food and water bowls and tidy away toys and beds, I recommend slinging it all in the back of your car. Whip off the throws and substitute some smart nice ones instead. Check your outside space for any “presents” and remove.
To summarise, remember that not everyone is a pet lover, declutter your pet’s stuff, make sure your home smalls fresh and be ready for viewings. Make sure that your agent is aware of your pets and if you do have to make specific arrangements agree these in advance with the agent and ensure that all relevant members of staff are aware. If you are downsizing and would like some help call me on 07745 876182 or e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I cover Wirral, Cheshire and the North West.