We are considering putting our house on the market. We have two cats. Do you think owning cats will decrease the chance of getting an offer? I don't think we have any odor or damage from the cats...other than the occasional fur ball...
Many people, and I mean many, are severely allergic to cats.
They can't even look at homes that have any trace of cat in it.
Find a temp home for your cats.
Dust the entire house, vacume, then dust again.
Have your carpeting professionally cleaned and deodorized, wash all linens and draperies, window sills, scrub with Mr. Clean Febrese.
The house must be totally cat fur free.
Think about it this way, your probably going to pack up some things and clean anyway, you just have to get rid of every single cat hair in your house.
You will have no problem selling it fast then.
Think of all the potential buyers you will loose, and trust me, you will loose if you don't do this.
Good Luck to you!
P.S. I'm a cat lover too!
I wouldn't worry about it. Although many people are allergic to cats -- for MOST, it is hardly life-threatening and I am sure people will do a thorough cleaning before moving in. Not to mention, cats are more popular than ever (even more common than dogs) so it is likely your new owners may even have one or two!!
I personally would have more issues with a house with dogs because there are almost always pee and poop stains on the carpet and scratches on wood floors from dogs. Dogs are usually much more damaging to the house itself than cats.
PS: this is assuming your cats have never peed outside the litter box of course!
Don't kid yourself. If you have cats, your house smells like cats. How clean you keep it will determine if it smells like cats or CATS!!!!
If it smells like lower case cats, that will only be a minor inconvenience for most buyers and they will probably overlook it. Some people are very sensitive to the smell and won't have anything to do with your house, but there is nothing you will be able to do about that at this point.
Whatever you do, don't go out and get highly scented cleaners to cover up the cat smell. People who are bothered by minor pet odors are usually even more bothered by a mix of pet and fake flowers.
Sorry, but I don't agree with the poster that advised finding a temporary home for the cats. The cats are going to be unsettled as it is with all the activity involved in getting a home ready to list, and then with people coming and going. And how long is temporary?
As the other people said, clean is the key. And I think you would want to have the information somewhere that there are pets in the house. The few people who are highly allergic will then be forewarned.
I personally look very negatively upon houses that have cats. I'm allergic to cats (not deathly allergic, but they make me miserable), and I know it's hard to completely rid a house of dander. I'd need to replace all the filters, figure out how to clean the ductwork, and replace the carpeting. I just don't want that kind of hassle, honestly.
We've sold three homes now over the last ten years, all within a month, with cats in them (two max). We have one of those covered litter boxes with a replaceable filter on the top.
Keep the litter box scrupulously clean with fresh litter and you'll be fine. Some may not buy because of allergies, but it hasn't been a problem for us, even in a down market (we sold our last house in mid-2007). A house in the neighborhood we bought in sold about the same time and it was loaded with overflowing cat boxes and cats/kittens. It really smelled bad in there.
Cats wouldn't bother me unless the whole house reeked. If it was just the litter box, no big deal. I've always had cats. A smell which I can not stand is musty basements. Every time I walked down to see a basement, if there was a musty smell, I turned around and left. I can't tolerate that smell.
Don't move your cats out of the house...
I'm not a pet owner, but have purchased a number of homes over the years. I've viewed a number of homes that you couldn't even tell a cat lived there and those didn't bother me in the least. The ones that turned me off were the ones with cat odor or cat hair problems. So the first thing I'd do is have someone else come into your home and assess the situation. Your nose may be accustomed to your pets and you may not smell something another person might. So let someone else do the sniff test to see if odors are problematic. Secondly, I'd make sure the home was immaculate, no fur balls or cat hair, make sure vents are cleaned and air filters changed, litter boxes immaculate and in an out of the way area, a covered litter box is an excellent idea.
Some houses we looked at would have signs, "don't let the cat out" and the cat would be free roaming around the house. I'm not so sure I'd want to leave that responsibility to strangers viewing my home, so do not believe that to be a good option. Do you want to come home to find that someone let the cat out? Other homes I've viewed had the cat in a cat carrier in the garage or a room and that wasn't an issue. My hubby had a huge issue with homes where a pet would be closed up free roaming in the garage with a sign on the door not to enter garage because of pet. When we'd make an appointment to view a home, we'd want to view the entire home, and to my hubby the garage was always important!! Shutting off an area of the home that's off limits to prospective buyers isn't a smart thing to do.
I just sold my house in July and I have a cat. I don't think it's a big deal if you consistently change the litter box and keep it fresh. I hear ya about the hair! You do the best you can, but there always seems to be a wisp of hair somewhere. With this house and the last one I sold, I've never had negative feedback regarding the cat or cat smells. He runs free in the house so I was some what concerned he might get out, but he usually runs and hides when someone comes in so that was never an issue. I would NEVER make him stay somewhere else while my house was for sale. It took over a year this time to sell so you get the point. Just keep it clean and I think you'll be fine. Good luck in selling! I'm glad that part is over. Now, on to building a new one!