Pets are part of the family these days. About 68 percent of American families have one or more pet in their homes. These family members bring joy, cuddles and sometimes messes into our lives—but we love them nonetheless. It’s important to consider our furry friends during a move and the home-selling process. It can be just as stressful for them as it is for homeowners.

On top of all that, not every buyer that comes into your home will be comfortable with an animal wandering free. At the same time, each pet has different needs and these strategies may not be right for everyone. Consider talking to your veterinarian to create the best plan.

Temporarily Relocate

Relocating your pet is probably the best option for your home and potential buyers. During the home inspection, take your pet with you when you vacate your property. Have your pet stay with a friend or family member or board your pet. Not only will this make buyers feel more comfortable and keep your home clean for showings, it’s better for your pet.

Constantly moving your pet from place to place or confining them to one room is not fair or fun for them. Although relocating takes them away from the comforts of home, it can provide some consistency in this time full of change.

If these options are not possible for your schedule or budget, at the very least remove your pet from the home during showings. This may mean taking a pet to work or the neighbor’s home for an afternoon. Pets may make buyers uncomfortable, and you run the risk of your pet getting out through a forgotten open door or window. You want buyers to imagine their new life in your home and a pet-free environment can help them do just that.

Repair Any Damage

For some buyers, a pet or evidence of a pet is a huge turnoff for their future home. Once your pet has been moved, you can take time to repair any damage they may have caused to walls, woodwork or furniture. This creates the illusion of a pet-free home, putting home buyers at ease.

Additionally, you may have become desensitized to pet odors as a pet owner. Be sure to freshen up your space. If it looks pet-free, make sure it smells pet-free. Buy specialized pet cleaning products made to remove unpleasant scents. Don’t forget about the yard. Make sure to pick up after your pet to keep your yard in tip-top shape. All of this preparation will help your new buyers feel right at home from the minute they step foot inside.

A pet-free space can help during the home-selling process, especially in combination with a pre-listing inspection. This inspection, conducted by the home seller before the home buyer’s final inspection, can help determine any areas that need attention from pet damage or other issues.

WIN home inspectors are experienced, high-quality professionals who will help you get a full picture of your home before you list it. Get in touch with us to find a WIN Home Inspection professional near you.