How pets can reduce the value of your home Expect a huge cleaning bill or a lower sale price

I found this article on Money Sense.  Interesting Read.

blackberry 230Selling your home? Got a pet? Then expect either a big cleaning bill or a big reduction on your sale price.

“Pets impact home sales in several ways” . “The main concern with pets is their effect on a home’s cleanliness and its smell. If a home is nicely cleaned and free of pet odours, the presence of pets is rarely an issue. However, if there is pet hair everywhere, strong pet odour in the house or pet waste around the yard, it can increase the time needed to sell the property and reduce its value.”

Worse yet, you may be shutting down a potential sale to a fairly substantial segment of the market. It’s estimated that 20% to 30% of young adults will react to an airborne allergen, such as pet dander. While studies show that early exposure to animals is beneficial, the prevalence of other medical conditions, such as asthma, hay fever, will also influence an allergic response. A Swedish study found that 40% of kids with asthma reacted to cats, 34% reacted to dogs and 28% reacted to horses.

Animal allergies are a common concern, and buyers who have them can be easily turned off if a house has pets.

Buyers occasionally are sensitive enough that they ask not to see homes where certain pets, typically cats or dogs, are residents. Other buyers will ask to leave a home immediately if they smell strong or foul pet odors. Of course, many buyers have pets of their own and often show greater tolerance.

But it’s not just odour or pet hair that’s a problem. Yellow or dying grass in the front or backyard, half-chewed toys littered in yards or across rooms, as well as open or smelly litter boxes can prompt concerns, even in pet-loving buyers.

If pets urinated in the house, the odor can linger indefinitely, and pets can do lasting damage to the woodwork by scratching or chewing.

So what should pet owners do to be sure Rover and Fluffy don’t negatively impact the sale of their home? Here is some straight forward advice from Money sense.

→ Clean the place, especially any rugs or carpeting, thoroughly before putting the home on the market, which may mean calling in professionals. And don’t forget the air vents. Once the house is clean, keep it that way.

→ Pet owners often don’t notice the odors caused by their animals, so it’s best to ask your real estate agent or friend if odors are noticeable.

→ If animals have urinated in the house, replace the affected carpeting or flooring, eliminating the odor at its source.

→ Ideally, remove pets from the home while the house is on the market. If that’s impractical, either take the pets out during showings or keep them confined in a small room or crate.

Pets also can be a distraction. Some people are phobic about animals. Others adore them. Either group can have a hard time ignoring a pet if it is wandering around the home.

Do you want a buyer playing with your cat for 15 minutes or seeing the best features of your home?

To help you get highest sale price for your home, consider spending money to fix the problems. It may not be cheap, but it will make money for you in the long run.  An animal-damaged home is like a home that hasn’t been updated in 30 years. We estimate that for every dollar a potential seller will need to spend to clean or remediate a pet problem, they’ll reduce their bid price by $2 to $3. For example, if it would cost $10,000 to replace the floors the buyer will reduce their offer by $20,000 to $30,000.

If you want to achieve maximum value on your home sale, it’s best to correct the flaws yourself, rather than offering credits to the buyer.

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