Sellers are advised to create the illusion
that everything is new and fresh in their homes. But when pets are involved,
it’s not always easy to keep things clean and orderly.
The simplest solution for a pet owner is to
relocate the pet to a friend’s or family member’s home or to a pet daycare while
the home is on the market. A pet could scare away a potential buyer from
stepping foot in the house. Many are worried about dogs or freaked out by birds.
Allergies can also be a factor.
Owners may think of their pets as the gentlest
creatures, but when strangers come into the home to look around, who knows what
the animals are thinking? A dog that barks or jumps on people is never a good
If pets are left in the home, make sure to put
them in a carrier and attach a note warning buyers not to disturb them. The last
thing you want is somebody sticking their hand inside and getting bit or
scratched. Removing signs that you have a pet is smart practice.
Clean the litter box daily and keep them out
of sight. Keep food and water dishes out of the way and put them away after the
Consider hiring professionals to remove pet
stains. Buyers will see them and form unfavorable opinions about the rest of the
home. Finally, although a sleeping cat on the bed may make for a cute picture,
someone seeing the shot on a website may automatically bypass the house because
they imagine smells and claw marks on the rug.
Pet owners must understand that not everyone
loves animals as much as they do. To some, pets are smelly, noisy and damaging
to a property. Don’t let that be the reason you don’t sell your
Most homebuyers today understand they need a
sizeable down payment and a strong credit score to secure a conforming home
loan. Buyers also must hold liquid funds for another financial obligation—an
earnest money deposit—to be paid when they make an offer on a home.
In short, earnest money is handed over to
the seller’s agent or the title company when a purchase contract is signed.
This demonstrates that the buyer is serious about the transaction and is
backing it up with cash. Without earnest money, buyers could simply make offers
on many homes, essentially taking them off the market until they choose a
Sellers rarely will accept
offers without such deposits.
There is no set amount for an
earnest money deposit so it can be up for negotiation. If the home is popular
with multiple bidders, the seller may ask for up to 3% of the asking price as
earnest money. Ideally, the amount is enough to impress the sellers,
particularly when they’re entertaining several offers.
Assuming the transaction
results in an accepted offer, earnest money goes toward the buyer’s down
payment and closing costs. If the transaction falls through, the buyer may have
to forfeit a nominal cancellation fee or more.
Be sure the purchase
agreement outlines the refund process. Remember, a buyer can lose earnest money
through default, which happens when he or she does not perform according to the
terms stipulated in a purchase and sale agreement.
Work carefully with your
Prudential Real Estate agent to ensure a clear understanding of all terms and