What Do Pets Do to the Resale Value of Your Home?

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Answer: They can potentially do pretty much the same thing to your home’s value that some pets do on the rug.

Waking up to the smell of cat urine on a freshly stained carpet, a Boston Real Estate Now blogger wondered how much of an impact cat-pee stink—and pet ownership in general—might have when the time comes to put the property on the market. So he asked a Boston-based real estate agent, who said that pet hair and pet stank can do major damage to a home’s resale value. The agent specifically mentioned a condo that sold for $20K or $30K less than it should have because of the property’s cats:

It was not an upkeep issue – the owner kept the unit in impeccable condition. But clearly the furry inhabitant of this upscale Back Bay condo must have done his business on the floor boards, leaving a smell that was just enough to turn off picky buyers.

So you can add “negative resale value” to the list of estimated costs for pet ownership, which showed that owning a medium-size dog runs around $1,600 in the first year.

You can also add “hide any signs of pets” to the list of things you need to do when staging a property in order to sell it. As the Boston blogger puts it:

Basically, if you are ever faced with trying to sell a home and own a pet or two, you should ship off Fido to a kennel, fumigate your house and then get on your knees and pray potential buyers can’t detect any stray pet scents.