Fab Real Estate Blog: Selling with Pet Odors

Selling with Pet Odors

REALTOR Magazine posted a great article online today titled, Seven Ways to Get Rid of Pet Odors.  One item they left off, that I've heard rave reviews about, is Nature's Miracle, to remove smells from pet accidents.  Nature's Miracle is readily available in most pet stores.

When selling your home, it is imperative to remove any and all odors, including those pesky pet odors. Pet bedding should be washed frequently.  Litter boxes should be cleaned at least daily, if not throughout each day.  If a pet has been having "accidents" on your carpets, it may be best to replace the carpeting prior to your home going on the market - this is the only sure-fire way to remove stains and smells.

Personally, I am allergic to cats.  If a cat has been having accidents in a home outside of the litter box, my eyes will be itchy within seconds of entering the front door.  But, if the cat has not had accidents, and the house is clean, then even though I am allergic, I may not know a cat lives in that home until he is rubbing up against my leg.  That's what every seller with pets needs to strive for.

If a buyer views your home and notices odors - from your pets, from last night's dinner, or even from your teenagers' dirty laundry - they will focus on those odors instead of whether or not your home will become their new home.  If your house smells, you may have just lost a buyer.

Selling a home with pets is not easy - I've done it myself a few times.  Here are a few quick tips to keep your animals from deterring potential buyers:

  • Vacuum up pet hair once or twice a day
  • Keep those litter boxes clean and out of sight
  • Clean up the backyard every time your dog goes outside
  • Keep pet bowls and toys hidden during the day
  • Take the pets with you during open houses
  • If possible, take the pets with you each time the home is shown; otherwise, keep them in their crates
  • If you have birds, vacuum around the cage throughout each day and keep their cages clean
  • Keep fish tanks clean and water sparkling - it shows you care

Believe it or not, not everyone loves animals.  And it is possible some buyers may not love your pets as much as you do.  While marketing your home, maintaining the home as if pets do not live there is a must.

It's a lot of extra work for a home owner if they have pets when they are selling their home.  But, it's worth it when the end result is that you sold your home!


Don Fabrizio-Garcia
Prudential Connecticut Realty
Connecticut Real Estate and Homes for Sale

Comment balloon 5 commentsDon Fabrizio-Garcia • March 12 2007 11:49AM


I have had a fair bit of experience with pets, mainly my own cats and dogs and those at my rental homes over the years. Natures Miracle is good. However, when a carpet is involved and the stain has settled, getting the smell out can be darn near impossible without pulling that part of the carpet up and replacing the pad underneath. Sometimes painting such an area, or down a heat register that has been sprayed, seals the smell off pretty well.
Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 11 years ago

Hi Steven - Yes, you are absolutely right.  Sometimes the carpets and padding must be replaced.

Are you suggesting painting the sub-floor to seal in the stain and any odors?

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) over 11 years ago
great advice!
Posted by Traci Fant (First Realty Company) over 11 years ago
HI Don, Those are excellent points.  It is hard to sell a house with pet oder but I think with you list, I will be able to talk to the sellers about it better than I have in the past.  Your blog also gave me ideas on how to make MY personal home smell better....thanks.
Posted by Kay Perry (Kay Perry, Broker) about 11 years ago

Hi Kay - People tend to get used to the smells in their own homes.  It can be tough to tell if your own home smells from your own pets.  Often, the opinion of someone who doesn't live there is what's needed...

Good luck on controlling your own pets' odors - it can be daunting at times!

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) about 11 years ago