First things first: We LUV pets. But, it’s not really a secret that owning one can be expensive. Monthly bags of food, unexpected vet bills, new toys and boarding costs add up quickly – but that’s only part of the price of pet ownership.

dogIt turns out the estimated value of your home can plummet (potentially to the tune of $30,000!) when a potential buyer finds out the home was shared with a pet.

Why? Sometimes, pets stink. And they scratch. And they pee on stuff.

Here are three pet-related issues to watch out for if you want to retain your home’s pre-pet value:

Scratches, Scratches Everywhere

Scratches from pets aren’t limited to hardwood floors – although they should definitely get some attention.  Other commonly scratched spots include doors, windowsills, window screens, wall molding, cabinets, porches … and pretty much anything else your pet can get their claws on.

Even a well-trained pet gets bored, and boredom leads to scratching, which leads to reduced home values. To fight the problem before it starts, make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise and has toys and treats to occupy their time while you’re away. We recommend checking out BarkBox for a constant supply of new, awesome toys.

Or, if your pet really needs some extra supervision, look into a doggie daycare or pet-sitter while you’re away. The upfront cost of daycare (about $25 a day) isn’t exactly cheap, but it can help you recoup serious cash when you’re ready to sell your home. 

Lingering Odors

This is a biggy. An accident here, a litter box there, and your home never smells the same. And one whiff of a bad odor is really difficult to recover from when trying to sell your home.

You know how they say love is blind? Pet smells work like that, too. The issue here is that many homeowners get used to the smells associated with having a live-in pet, so it’s commonly overlooked. Don’t do that! Instead, take the time to deep clean any mess that happens and use these stink-fighting tricks when an appraiser or potential buyer is visiting your home. Tip: Ask an honest friend to rate your home’s stink from 0 – 10. If it’s anything over a 3, you may want to consider hiring a professional to handle the smell.

Ugly Yard = Bad First Impression

Let’s be straightforward: Poop and pee kills grass. Dogs love to dig holes, and to some animals, plants look delicious. All of these issues can make a once well-manicured lawn look messy. When you’re selling your home, curb appeal can make or break a deal, so pay attention to your lawn. Fix issues like dead grass from a favorite pee spot immediately. We’re not saying Lassie shouldn’t enjoy your lawn! Just clean up after her and keep the digging to a minimum.

When you are buying or selling property in today's Harrisburg PA real estate market, it's important to have confidence in your real estate professional. Don’s commitment as your Harrisburg PA REALTOR® is to provide you with the specialized real estate service you deserve.

When you are an informed buyer or seller, you'll make the best decisions for the most important purchase or sale in your lifetime. That's why Don’s goal is to keep you informed on trends in Harrisburg PA real estate. With property values continuing to rise, real estate is a sound investment for now and for the future.

As a local area expert with knowledge of Harrisburg PA area communities, Don’s objective is to work diligently to assist you in meeting your real estate goals.

If you are considering buying or selling a home or would just like to have additional information about real estate in your area, please don't hesitate to call me at (717) 657-8700, complete my online form, or e-mail me at