How pets can impact your home’s value

The Andrea Fonash Group of RE/MAX Action Associates
Published on April 21, 2023

How pets can impact your home’s value

I once listed the home of a lovely woman who lived with the love-of-her-life, a young pit-bull, Jade.

Like most puppies, Jade had penchant for chewing – on EVERYTHING. My client came home from work one day to find her living room completely destroyed. The dog had torn the sofa to shreds – even the wood frame. The floor was a sea of shredded foam and chewed-up wood.

The dog had also taken a dislike to the baseboards and decided they had to go as well. Thankfully there were no showings that day and it took almost two weeks to get the unit back into showing condition (and a lock on the escape-artist dog’s crate).

Sure, this example is extreme, but pets damage homes, whether it’s the dark streak on a wall where they’ve rubbed themselves or cat urine in the carpet to even something as minor as hair everywhere. Pets can have a negative impact on your home’s value.

Other ways pets impact home value

Recently I read an interview with a Boston real estate agent who talked about selling a condo that belonged to a woman who owned multiple cats. It sold for $30,000 less than it should have because of the damage caused by her cats.

“When the damage is significant, however, a home could appraise at 2% to 5% less” than market value, appraiser Susan Martins-Phipps tells Beth DeCarbo at the Wall Street Journal.

Then there was an article in Business Insider that claims home values in a neighborhood with barking dogs are reduced between five and 10 percent. So not only might your pet bring down your home’s value, but your neighbor’s pets may impact it as well.

How to deal with existing and future impacts

Of course, you’ll need to repair pet damage before putting the home on the market. But you’ll also need to remove evidence of pets as well, such as hair, odors, stains, and pet paraphernalia, such as food dishes and litter boxes.

Urine in carpets is almost impossible to get out so you may want to think about replacing them. Painting the interior will get rid of rubbing marks on the walls and a lot of odor as well.

Here are a few other tips to ensure your home gives off a homey, not kennel vibes:

  • If pet odors are extra-heavy, consider hiring a professional to get rid of them.
  • Avoid the use of air fresheners, incense and scented candles. Certain scents can be turn-offs for some.
  • Keep your dog groomed during the marketing process.
  • Vacuum as often as possible.
  • Give your dog plenty of exercise and attention while the home is on the market. When he’s pooped out, he won’t be as likely to look for ways to beat boredom.
  • Don’t forget the backyard. If your pooch relieves herself there, you’ll need to ensure she hasn’t left any surprises for buyers who want to check out the area.

Finally, find a place to park the pets during showings. Ideally, that means removing them from the home. Park your pet at the groomer, drop it at the vet for a checkup, take it to doggie daycare, or hire a professional dog walker during showings and open houses.

Since it’s not always practical to remove the pet from the home, crate it, cover the crate with a blanket, and leave a note on the door that there are pets created in the room.