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5 Pet Problems to Fix Before You Sell Your House

Pet Image Gallery When left to their own devices, dogs and other pets can cause serious damage. See more pet pictures.

Selling a home is hard enough, but selling a home when you have pets is even more difficult. You might even be surprised to know that owning a pet can significantly reduce your home's value [source: Tuttle]. That's because when left to their own devices, curious cats, dogs and other pets can cause serious damage. Although you may become accustomed to -- and might not even notice -- the scratches, odors and other damage they've created, a smart homebuyer will look for evidence of pets on a walk through of your home.

If you want to ensure you get the highest final sale price, you'll have to properly stage your home to create the illusion you are not a pet owner -- or at least eliminate any signs that your animals were destructive. How? By fixing any major damage your pets caused that will catch the eyes (and noses) of potential buyers. In some cases, a quick fix will do. But larger problems may require more significant repairs -- or may need to be replaced altogether.

Even if your house is in excellent condition, and you've done your best to keep it clean, owning pets could take up to $30,000 off of its value if potential buyers notice odors or other pet issues [source: Tuttle]. If you own pets, and you're not sure where to start addressing the damage they've caused, read on for the top five pet problems that definitely need to be fixed before you sell your home.