We love our pets and they love us, but sometimes they create messes that potential buyers won't love. The smells those messes leave will turn off buyers in a heartbeat, and sometimes getting rid of the smells is easier said than done. Here are some ways to get out tough pet smells before and after they set in.
Air Our Your House.
If the smells haven’t set in yet, you can open windows and turn on fans to get the stinky air circulating out. You may want to leave them open for several hours a day for several days until the smell is gone.
If you have some stink left when people come to see the house, light candles and put them in strategic places, or hide bags of potpourri near specially smelly places. Don’t overwhelm visitors with strong scents and don’t try to cover up your pet smell with candles. Just continue to cleanse and lighten the air with some added help.
Scrub hard surfaces.
Some smells can’t be aired out, especially if they’re old and stuck in hard surfaces. In that case, it’s time for some elbow grease. Use a mixture of one part bleach to 9 parts water to scrub floors and walls. You can also try pure vinegar or de-odorizing cleaners from the pet store. If the smell is in hardwood, do some research online or with the manufacturers for how to clean it.
If scrubbing doesn’t get out the stench, you can add a fresh coat of paint over drywall or stain wood to try to cover the smell. For cement or brick surfaces, freshly seal it to contain the odor. If the smell is so bad that repainting doesn’t work, you may have to replace the material to make it attractive to a new owner.
Deep clean fabrics.
Pet smells seep into fabrics more than into hard surfaces, so this is one idea you’ll want to try early on. To start, remove and wash drapes and window dressings. You may need to wash them several times, spray them with deodorizers, or even replace them. For upholstery, you can rent a steam cleaner or just professionally steam clean couches and chairs for a relatively low expense. Again, if the smell is particularly embedded in the fabric, replacement might be the best bet.
If the smell in your home is from a pet’s accident, cleaning the carpet is probably the best way to remove the smell. Of course, you can rent a carpet cleaner and do the job yourself, or save time and hassle by hiring a pro. After the carpet dries, you should be able to tell if the smell is gone. If it’s not, you can try deodorizers from your carpet cleaners. If the odor is still persistent, you might need to replace the carpet and install another kind of flooring that’s more resistant to smells. The tricky thing about carpet is locating the source of the stench. It may go as deep as the subfloor, in which case that will have to be replaced too.
Keep out the smells.
After you’ve worked so hard to get the smell out, you’ll want to keep it out. If your pet uses a pee pad, replace it every time your pet soils it and throw it in the garbage outside. Replace kitty litter daily instead of just picking out the excrement and sweep around the litter box. You can even light candles in the room where the pee pad or litter box goes to keep the air fresh.
When you show a house, you’ll need to de-pet your house. It may seem unnecessary and unneighborly to do so, but potential buyers are not as enthusiastic about your pets as you are. Even evidence of a pet makes a house seem less desirable. During a showing, you’ll want to crate your pet, keep it outside, or let it visit a friend for the day. Pick up pee pads, stow away litter boxes, put food dishes and other effects in drawers or cabinets. Plus, make sure any pet hair is cleaned off of floors and furniture. Your potential buyer wants to imagine their own pet in the house, so give them as much space as possible to do that.
Getting rid of pet smells may not be the most fun job, but it’s definitely a necessity when you’re getting ready to sell your home. I hope these ideas have helped you in your journey of home selling! If you have any more concerns or questions about the real estate market, I’d love to hear from you and help you! Please contact me through email, phone - (863) 450-8847, Facebook, or my mobile app. Looking forward to hearing from you!