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Prep your pets & your property before selling

Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

When it comes to home ownership, buyers and sellers alike have a vested interest in the presence of pets. For every grumpy cat meme, there's a family with allergies. For every viral video of playful puppies, there's a carpet that needs deep cleaning.

If you are prepping your home for sale, take a good look at what your pets have done to the property. Then follow these tips before scheduling any showings.

Remove pets for showings

Potential buyers won't be amused if a scared cat hisses from under a bed or the pet gerbil is spinning on its exercise wheel while they are viewing the home. Bring your pets with you, board them in a kennel or make arrangements with a neighbor. On rare occasions when you simply cannot remove pets before showings, put them in a contained space and alert the buyer or real estate agent in advance.

Keep calm

There is no question that prepping your home for sale can be a stressful time for you and your perceptive pets. Do your best to maintain a routine they are accustomed to with feeding and exercise. Allow plenty of time to remove pets from your home before showings to minimize anxiety.

Control odors

You may have adjusted to pet odors inside your home, but assume any prospective buyers will notice. The biggest culprit may be pet hair and accidents in the carpet. Clean all carpets or replace it along with the pad, if necessary. Is a professional required to get the job done right? Perhaps. Vacuuming daily from now until the home sells can help.

Repair any damage

Remember when Fido was a pup and he scratched the hardwood floor? It may have been a cute rite of passage, but now is the time to restore the floor. If you can't see what your animals have destroyed, ask a trusted friend or your agent to inspect your home. Be prepared to fix or replace carpets, flooring, walls, doors and scratched cabinets.

Look outdoors, too

Keep curb appeal in mind as you fix holes in your yard and scratches on exterior walls and doors, and replace lawns damaged by dog urine.

Remove the evidence

Remove pet beds, toys, food, litter boxes, medications, bird cages and other accessories from the premises. Also, photos of your pets should be replaced. Assume home buyers will open every drawer and closet, and the sight of this stuff could send them to the next home on their list.