Pet Odors.....How much of a factor are they, if any, when marketing a property for sale?

  • September 24 2010 - Naples
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Answers (19)

Emotion and sensory input drive buyers of homes that they will live in and personally enjoy. I love it when buyers say- "would our couch fit here...", or "would our bedroom furniture fit here..." indicating that they are picturing themselves living in and enjoying the space. On the other hand, if it is a total reno or distressed property, a smelly, broken and ugly home says make a lowball offer... I guess it depends how the seller feels about getting the home sold and how low they will go on the price. In my experience, staging and seller prep is cursory to a top price sale... including the removal of pet stains and odors.

  • June 15 2012
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It is a HUGE turn-off to Buyers in Colorado. I have had Buyers that walked right back out the door and refused to see the whole place and it was an otherwise nice home that would have matched their profile. If air fresheners or carpet cleaning will not solve the issue, it may be worth the money to replace the source of the odor (i.e. carpet, curtains, etc.).
  • June 05 2012
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They can certainly detract from the appeal of the property. We recommend scented candles and keeping the thermostat at
73. Open windows before to air out. Best of Luck!
  • May 24 2012
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Christine McGinty's is right on point! Depending on the amount of urine damage the cost of odor remediation, carpet & drywall repairs or replacemnet can be a huge out of pocket expense. Some sellers simply just don't have the money or they are not willing to put another dime into the property. If this is the case get a Pet Odor Inspection Report it will provide a lot of useful information for buyer, seller & You. Our reports include a detailed list of damages on a per room basis, recommended service to remediate the odor damage and the cost. The estimate alone can be a useful guide for the seller to decide if he wants to have the problem remediated professionally, give the buyer a credit or reduce the asking price by the amount quoted for remediation. The most important thing to do is protect your client from "nondisclosure issues" If the buyer never gets an opportunity to smell the house in its as is condition he will smell it after closing escrow. To prevent that hidden odor from coming back to bite you..... make sure you "disclose" in writing to the buyer there was an odor problem to release you from any liability after the sell.
  • May 23 2012
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My recent clients would not even go in to preview a house with a pet odor. Will this help you?
  • October 06 2010
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Pet odors can be a huge turn off to someone without pets looking to buy. I think it is just as big of a factor as cigeratte smoker vs. non-smoker. Both smells are strong and you certainly don't want the buyers to hurry through the property because they can't wait to get to fresh air.    
  • October 06 2010
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Profile picture for jadedea

<--from a buyers pet owner point of view.

everyone else is right. i was once looking at houses to rent and/or buy. this one house you knew they had big dogs. even though the carpet appeared to be clean i could smell dog all over the place and i was afraid that would could cause a temperment change for my cat. i think tha place would work for another dog order (familiar smells?). my friend has cats and is renting a house that the owners decided to rent out instead of selling. apparently the owners had cats as well. even though the place didnt smell of cat at all her cats found a room where one of the cats (whom was sick we believe) had used the bathroom in the corner. now shes battling all her cats because they are peeing in that corner. cats dont use the bathroom outside of the litter box unless their sick. my aunt was a huge smoker and when the realtor walked into her house he immediately told her to stop smoking. i think she got something joe chin had mentioned and started smoking outside. she also hid all of her ashtrays as to not hint that she smoked like a chimney in the house. a fellow smoker ended up buying her house anyways lol.

  • October 06 2010
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Smells don't $ell!

Smoking, pet and even food odor can be a huge turn off to buyers.

Clean the carpet, upholstrey and drapery.
Replacing carpet is an option if pets will no longer be living at the home. They may just soil new carpet too!

Smoke outside, cook on the grill and wash pet bedding frequently.  Cat boxes need extra attention during the sale of the home. 

Let's also mention diaper disposal-- take the soiled diapers to the outside trash can as soon as possible!

Masking the smells with too much fragrance is a problem as well. 
Many people are allergic to perfumes these days.  Candles, sprays and plug-ins should be keep to a minimum.

One thing on every buyers 'must-have' list is CLEAN! 
  • October 06 2010
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Profile picture for BuyerRebate

Huge problem with selling homes. Especially right now with plenty of inventory. Many times with carpet, it needs to be replaced. The smells are din the padding and must be taken out. Those plug in fresheners can help some as well. Sellers need to know this issue and tackle the problem before putting it on the market if possible.

  • October 06 2010
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Profile picture for Joe C Chen
Get an odor absorbing box for $4 each at Home Depot.  You will be amazed by how fast and how well it works.  If you have a large house maybe buy 5-6 of them.
  • September 27 2010
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Here's a link about pet odors. Causes & Cures. http://www.essortment.com/hobbies/neutralizingpet_scao.htm

Happy funding, Rudi
  • September 25 2010
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Pet odors are a big No,No...........Many buyers will just open the door and get a hint of odors and not even preview the property.

Sellers should be groomed by their agent how to present the home for sale.  There are some sellers that just don't care how their house shows.  The question should then be asked how serious they are to sell their property!

  • September 25 2010
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HUGE!  oh... did I say HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It stinks, you get less period end of story...
  • September 25 2010
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
Wetdawgs, I am not so sure about the smell of bread baking. Many realtors online sound like they would try to use that to cover other far worse smells when you could otherwise smell them.
  • September 24 2010
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Buyers hate pet or smoke odors.
  • September 24 2010
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Daily I have buyers who walk in and right out of properties with unpleasant odors. I make a practice of honesty with my sellers, if there is an odor in the home... be it pet or otherwise, I tell them and offer suggestions on how to eliminate it. Afterall they are paying us to sell their homes, it is our job to ensure their home is putting it's best foot forward, not foot odor forward. Keeping a sense of humor helps too!
  • September 24 2010
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Pet odors have a huge impact on the sale of a home. If it's carpet, it would most likely have to be replaced.....ca-ching $$$. If it's permeated the wood under the carpet, that too may have to be torn up and replaced....ca-ching, ca-ching $$$$$$! I've been in a home that carpet and flooring was replaced only to find out the drywall had absorbed the smell too. And nothing is worse than when sellers try to cover it up with room sprays, carpet deodorizers or candles which sometimes makes it worse. The seller needs to try to have carpets professionally cleaned and if that doesn't work, new carpet and paint may be in order. Cat urine is the worst in my opinion. Very hard to remove that smell.
  • September 24 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Odors of all sorts are a big issue when marketing a property for sale.  These can include pet odors, perfumes from human use as well as cleaning products (Fabreeze is nasty), bathroom odors, laundry odors, mold odors, outside odors (the garbage dump up the street?)etc.  Cigarette/cigar smoke are also extremely offensive.

As a potential buyer, I turn around at the door if the house is drenched in artificial fragrance or cigarette/cigar smoke .   A mild pet odor by a dog or cat bed is okay.   The stench of floors or walls impregnated with cat urine is not okay.

What is not offensive?   Bread baking.  A bunch of roses.
  • September 24 2010
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Pet odors are a definite turnoff to buyers.

Erika in Orlando
  • September 24 2010
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