Updated: Sep 19, 2019

When selling a home sometimes the most basic things are forgotten. It used to be said that people who lived near the stockyards in Chicago, when they were operational, stopped smelling those awful smells because their noses simply got to used to it - I guess that was a blessing. This means that some people get so used to what their own home smells like that they stop noticing their beloved pet smells too.

If you have a pet before putting your home on the market, you should consider using some, if not all, of the below tips in order to give your home a chance for a quicker sale.. (In fact even if you aren’t selling a home, you want your home to be in great shape and you don’t want any family or guests feeling less than comfortable while visiting.)

First ask your agent, hopefully me, to give you an honest opinion as to whether there are any strong pet smells. If there are it might be best to consider having your dog or cat stay with someone while you’re selling your home, If pets have to stay, remove them from the house for showings and put away their dishes, towels, and toys.

Don’t think that you are a bad housekeeper if your home doesn’t always smell like roses. Some pets are naturally messier and harder to keep up with. However you should consider doing the following based on the degree of the problem:

-The first step to cleaning up pet smells is cleaning the pets themselves. Bathe and groom them regularly.

-Next vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. If your pet has a favorite couch or cushion, cover it with a blanket and run it — and the cushion cover — through the wash weekly. Every time you vacuum, start with a hearty sprinkle of baking soda on the carpet. And use that crevice tool liberally; pet hair loves tight spaces like the border between the carpet and the wall, the edges of your steps and that little crack of space between the stove and your cabinets.

-While you’re cleaning, throw open all the windows in your home to allow fresh air to circulate and sweep out unpleasant scents. Once your house is free of pet odors, do what you can to keep the smells from returning. Crate your dog when you’re out or keep it outdoors. Limit the cat to one floor or room, if possible. Remove or replace pet bedding.

-Scrub bare floors and walls soiled by pets with vinegar, wood floor cleaner, or an odor-neutralizing product, which you can purchase at a pet supply store. Try a 1:9 bleach-to-water solution on surfaces it won’t damage, like cement floors or walls. If you have a stubborn pet odor covering a large area, you may have to spend several hundred dollars to hire a service that specializes in hard-to-clean stains. Hopefully urine isn’t a big issue, but to be sure, you can use a black light to out any dried stains your pet was hoping you’d never notice. Use more of that baking soda followed by a half-water, half-vinegar solution to neutralize the odor. Lots of people also swear by store-bought neutralizers like Nature’s Miracle.

-Pet odors seep into fabrics so launder, steam clean, or dry clean all your fabric window coverings. Steam clean upholstered furniture too.

-Shampoo your carpets and rugs with a deodorizing treatment. If deodorizing doesn’t remove the pet odor from your home, the carpets and padding will have to go. Once you tear them out, scrub the subfloor with vinegar or an odor-removing product, and install new padding and carpeting. Unless the smell is in the subfloor, then unfortunately that will have to be redone too.

-When heavy-duty cleaners haven’t eradicated smells in drywall, plaster, or woodwork, add a fresh coat of paint or stain, or replace the drywall or wood altogether. On brick and cement, apply a sealant appropriate for the surface which may smother and seal in the odor, keeping it from reemerging.

-If your dog uses indoor pee pads, put down a new pad each time the dog goes. Throw them away outside in a trash can with a tight lid. Remove even clean pads from view before each showing. Replace kitty litter daily, rather than scooping used litter clumps, and sweep up around the litter box. Hide the litter box before each showing.

You know that we love dogs since we have four of them, and we hope in the future to have an even larger property and can add to that number. We always try to be very on top of things because we love to entertain. Let’s face it you will enjoy a fresher smelling house whether you are staying there or whether you are waiting to sell your home!

Source: Excerpts from House Logic

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