Looking to sell? Well you want to make sure you are not turning off buyers with any number of subtle or not so subtle stinky smells.
And the top culprits are those loveable furry members of the family, our cats and dogs. Now there are lots of potential buyer turnoffs out there, but cat pee has to top of the list, though dog smell is no charmer either.
If you have a cat, dog or both species living in your house, you may become accustomed to all sorts of pet smells.
The only problem is others will surely notice - especially buyers with sensitive noses or who don't own pets and don't think your little Felix or Fido is all that cute.
Dog hair is bad enough - and dog mess littering a yard is something else. (My wife and I once looked at a nice ranch in Canton, but couldn't get over the gross out factor of the yard, which was a minefield of canine leavings.)
But nothing is worse that cat pee - and if your kitty has letting loose in various parts of the house, you need to change your ways and those of your pet, and change them fast.
So what to do?
If you are not all that vigilant about pet hair or emptying the litter box, this is the time to change your habits.
That means thinking carefully where you have placed the litter box, with basement better than the upstairs. Also, go out and buy the best, least stinky litter possible, even it puts you out a few bucks.
But if your cat is having litter box problems, occasionally letting loose on the carpet for floor, this is the time to get to the bottom of it.
My beloved Maine Coon cat Teeney, now a grand old twenty years old, took up the rather nasty habit of peeing on the carpet under the desk of my home office.
Nothing better than the smell of fresh cat pee when you are trying to bang out a story or a blog post at five in the morning!
It turns out Teeney had a very treatable urinary tract infection. Some relatively inexpensive meds and a higher grade litter designed to be especially alluring to the family feline - Cat Attract - did the trick.
You also need to find out exactly where your cat has been peeing, which can be tough given the smell of cat pee is so overpowering. A little, inexpensive black light device can turn up those spots - the challenge then is to break the habit and go on high alert every time your cat starts wandering over to that favorite corner.
Still, you might be better off finding a family member or friend willing to take your cat or dog while you try and sell your house.
Or, if you are determined to keep your pets with you, recruit a friend or a neighbor to come in and put your house to the smell test.
Find someone who is not afraid to be candid - this is not the time for overly polite and ineffectual advice.
If you are worried your house stinks, find someone who will tell you the truth.
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