Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Evaluating Your North Shore Home for Pet Damage Before Selling

4 Area of Pet Damage to Address Before Listing Your North Shore Home

North Shore real estate
Pet Damage & Selling Your North Shore Home

For pet owners, Fido the dog or Mittens the cat are a part of the family. The issue with these family members when it comes to selling your North Shore home is that they can lead to lost home value if there is pet damage to your home. According to the American Pet Products Association, it's estimated that 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 30-37% have a cat. This means that one-third to one-half of home sellers of Chicago’s North Shore may be contending with pet damage needing remedy prior to listing and selling their homes. Here are 4 areas to evaluate for pet damage and address when deciding to sell your home on Chicago's North Shore:


A popular home air freshener brand has recently coined the phrase “nose blind”. Unfortunately, many pet owners succumb to this dreaded nose blindness. Since you spend a lot of time in your home, it gets to a point where you no longer recognize smells that may be offensive to those who do not have pets. While anyone who is listing their home should do a thorough deep cleaning, pet owners should especially dive deep into every nook and cranny. Cleaning carpeting and upholstery is very important, as both tend to retain smells. Don’t be afraid to ask a close friend or a family member for an honest opinion. Remember, a stinky home could be the difference between getting an offer and not, so don’t take it personally!


It is very important that you do your best to remove any pet stains from your flooring. No matter the cause, pet stains will be a turnoff to potential buyers. Even if there isn’t a lingering odor, pet stains still give a home an unclean feeling. If the stains can’t be removed with spot treatment, have them professionally addressed. If they can’t be professionally removed, it’s then time to consider replacement.

Scratches / Chew Damage

This can be a costly one, depending on the extent of the damage. Inspect your flooring, doors, and trim carefully. If the damage can not be buffed or sanded away, it may be necessary to consider replacement. If there is damage to hardwood flooring, you should consider having the flooring refinished.  While this type of damage doesn't necessarily lend to an unsanitary feeling to the home, buyers will see the damage as an expense that will be incurred immediately upon moving in.


First and foremost, your lawn. It’s almost inevitable that owning a dog will lead to yellow or bare spots in your lawn. If you have ample time, over-seeding may be a possibility. If not, invest in sod to address the dead area. Beyond just your lawn, you should also inspect plants, shrubs, and fencing. If your pet has created wear on any of these items, it’s time to repair or replace them.

As much as we love our pets, they can definitely add to the wear and tear on your North Shore home — especially if your pet is young or you have been in the home for some time. Unfortunately, potential buyers do not share in your attachment to your pet and therefore will notice every ounce of damage caused by said pet. The best thing to do is to be proactive in addressing pet damage before listing your home, and these are 4 areas that you will definitely want to assess. Taking the time to repair any pet damage will result in a higher sale price and potentially a quicker sale. If you’re in debate of what should and should not be repaired based on the cost, your North Shore realtor can be a great resource. Please contact me if you would are considering selling your North Shore home. I will help you prepare your home for listing so that you can get the most out of your investment.

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

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