Can owning a pet reduce the value of your home?

Damage Buyers Look For

Pet owners often feel that their animals are a part of their family, which makes it easy to overlook the damage they're doing to the home. However, when they decide it's time to sell, it's important to address the pet problems once and for all. Since the exterior of the home is the first place a home buyer will see, let's start there.

Not only will pets cause problems to the exterior of your home -- chewing on the front stairs, scratching the walls of your porch, or leaving their mark on the corner of your home and your deck -- they can ruin your landscaping as well. Digging holes, tearing up grass, and eating plants can leave a once-impeccable landscape looking sad and messy. Curb appeal means everything and if potential buyers notice major damage and problems for your pets outside, they may never even step foot inside.

And speaking of inside your home, issues abound there, too. Even the best-behaved pets may start chewing on doors and windowsills, and cats often scratch window screens while you're not home. Check your cabinet doors, non-carpeted flooring, thresholds, walls, and molding or trim. Oftentimes, this type of damage comes from boredom. To counteract this, make sure your pets get proper exercise each day and have plenty of toys to keep them occupied. Of course, some issues simply can't be prevented, like those left behind from puppy and cat accidents. They leave stains and odors that are difficult to remove. Simply covering these up just won't cut it because smart buyers will see through your efforts to hide the damage. But if you do it right, you should have nothing to fear. We'll discuss how next.

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