If you have a dog or cat, you know two things are true: pets are lovable, and pets can be messy.


This is a sentiment shared by many – according to the American Pet Products Association, more than 111 million U.S. households have a pet dog or cat. So when it’s time to sell your house, it’s especially important to remove traces of filth caused by our fuzzy friends. After all, when preparing a home to hit the market, sellers often comprehensively clean and stage to help prospective buyers view the property as a blank canvas.


Here’s how to help buyers see your place as their “furever” home – without the pet fur.

1. Conduct a deep cleaning

Does your cuddly critter enjoy lounging on furniture intended for people? If so, they likely shed on items like the sofa or bed, and that fur can be tricky to get out. Try using a furniture scraping tool that gently combs out pesky fur without damaging the fabric.


Then, focus on the floors. In addition to a dustpan and broom, make sure you’re using a vacuum that can withstand a high volume of hair and fur. And don’t forget to hit the nooks, crannies, and harder-to-reach spots in each room. Your real estate agent may offer staging pointers, which could include moving pieces of furniture around – so make sure to combat every last dust bunny.


Whether it’s laying over hardwood or installed wall-to-wall, carpet often bears the brunt of dirt traipsed in from the outdoors. If your carpet is showing signs of wear and tear, consider having it professionally cleaned. For uncarpeted flooring like wood and tile, now is a good time to mop (think Bona or Swiffer). You’d be surprised by how much grime is hiding in plain sight.

2. Fix pet-induced damage

With paws and claws comes some inevitable scratching (especially for those who have cats). Prior to hitting the market, mend places around the house that show visible signs of damage. For example, use paint (or a paint pen) to color in any marks from gnawing on wood, often on the corners of walls or steps.


And either flip, turn, or relocate items of furniture or décor with easily noticeable destruction. Some damaged items may be worth replacing, like chewed curtains or a soiled rug.

3. Store away supplies

When preparing your home to hit the market, going clutter-free is key. Be sure to store your pet supplies such as beds, toys, cat scratching post, pet food, leashes, and anything else.


If you know showings could come about on a regular basis, have a large bag or bin on standby ready to gather these items in a hurry.

4. Eliminate pet odor

One factor of homeownership people adjust to over time is scent. You may not notice certain pet aromas, but prospective homebuyers surely will. A few methods to quickly eliminate unwanted odors include washing throw blankets, furniture covers, and other washable textiles; using a pet odor eliminating spray or powder that’s safe on fabric; and replacing worn or clogged air filters in the HVAC system. Some may also splurge on an air purifying machine to improve interior air quality.


Scent can also play a positive role in evoking a desired mood for a space. Candles can make a room smell great, but can become a fire hazard if left unattended. For a similar output of scent, try using an oil diffuser. Aromas to enhance the ambiance of your home could be anything clean, like citrus. Especially in the fall and winter, some people opt for comforting seasonal scents with notes of vanilla and cinnamon, or nature-inspired with notes of pine or fir. Ultimately, sellers want to avoid any aroma too perfume-like that could be off-putting or cause headache.


The best way to determine if your house is smelling fresh enough for company? Invite a friend over for a sniff test – and have them tell you the honest truth.


With a home on the market, it’s best to try to keep it as clean as possible on a regular basis. That way your loved ones – furry family members included – can leave in a moment’s notice with no trace of pets in sight (or sniff).


Ready to put your home on the market? Contact a local RE/MAX agent today.