You may love your cats like members of the family, but if the time has come to sell your home, you need to acknowledge that many home buyers may not feel the same way. Some buyers may be afraid of cats, and others may be turned off at the idea of buying a home that's been lived in by pets because they're worried about odors or stains. To make sure your cats don't keep you from making the sale, follow these tips.
See if they can stay at a friend's house.
If you have any close friends or family members who like cats, see if they'd be willing to let your cats stay at their place for a month or two while you sell your home. This way, you don't have to worry about the cat bothering anyone who comes to look at the home. You can also clean up all traces of the cats without worrying that they'll reappear before you show the home.
Have your carpet cleaned.
You can wipe down every surface and vacuum all day, but your home will probably still have a slight cat odor until you have the carpets cleaned. Carpets tend to grab onto oils from the cat's skin. There may also be litter particles and hair ground deeply into the carpet. Having the carpet cleaned by a professional who uses powerful suction equipment and deodorizing shampoo will go a long way towards removing the last traces of cat odor.
Put a HEPA filter in your HVAC system.
HEPA filters are better at removing tiny particles like those of pet dander from the air. Change your current air filter out for a HEPA filter. They cost a bit more, but they will keep the air in your home cleaner so hair and dander don't redeposit themselves on surfaces each time the heat or air kicks on. Home buyers with allergies won't start having sneezing fits when they come inside, either.
Don't disclose that you've had cats unless someone asks.
The presence of pets is not something you're required to disclose to potential buyers when it comes to real estate. If they ask whether you've had cats in the home, you should be honest with them. But if they don't ask, that usually just means you've done a good job removing all traces of your cat from the home. Don't risk them turning away by telling them about the cats unnecessarily.