The short answer here is yes. You can sell your house even if it smells like cat urine. Heck you can sell your house with the cats included. But when selling a house that has extensive pet damage, there are a few things to consider.
Disclaimer: The information on this page is intended for general informational purposes only and is not to be used as a substitute for professional opinion and/or legal advice. Omaha Homes For Cash is a local home buying company that can purchase your house, even if it smells like cats or cat urine.
I know what you’re thinking….who doesn’t love cats?! I mean, they are soft and snuggly, curious and funny, right? This may be true, and most people may enjoy cats as pets, however, there is actually a group of people that comes to mind that do not enjoy cats. Who are those people? The people buying your house. In fact, having cats just might be a deal breaker when trying to sell your house.
Cats aren’t necessarily the problem, its the damage that cats can do to your house that can make it hard to sell.
The number one thing that comes to mind when thinking about buying a house that has been inhabited by cats is the smell. Cat urine, in particular, can absolutely destroy your house. Many times, the smell of cat urine will linger permanently unless treated and dealt with.
Imagine not being a cat owner. You are searching for a house and find the perfect one on Zillow. It’s in the perfect neighborhood, all the photos are gorgeous, and the price is perfect. You excitedly get to the open house and can’t wait to walk inside the front door to your new home. You open the door, expecting perfection, and BAM.…you are hit with the smell of cat urine. All your hopes and dreams come tumbling back down to Earth. Chances are, nothing is going to change that first impression. It is because of this exact reason we look at how and what to do if you are selling your house and it smells like cats or cat pee.
Selling your house can be stressful, even when things go smoothly. If you have a house that smells like cats or cat urine, things are likely going to be even more stressful. Cat urine and cat smell may be a challenge, but there are ways to fix it prior to selling your house.
Remove The Carpet
The first thing I would recommend would be getting rid of any and all carpet in the house. Sure, you could go around and only replace the carpet that has been peed on or smells like cats, but chances are there is damage under the carpet that you can’t even see (more on this later). Nothing worse than doing a bunch of work only to find out that you still have a strong cat stench because you only replaced SOME of the carpet. Do it all and you will likely be glad you did.
Check Subflooring For Damage
Often times, if a cat is or has urinated frequently on the carpet, there is going to be damage to the subfloor under the carpet. This happens when the cat urine soaks through the carpet and is absorbed by the subflooring. Over time, this flooring retains that smell and omits it into the air. Your carpets may have just been cleaned, but that subflooring may still omitting cat odors and you may not even know it.
If the subflooring is damaged, it will likely need to be replaced or at minimum, sealed. If the flooring does not need to be replaced, you could get yourself some BIN Original Primer or something similar and apply an even coat to the flooring to seal the cat smell.
Use an Ozone To Remove Cat Odors in The Air
This is one tactic that is often times overlooked, yet it is incredibly effective. We use it on all the houses we buy in Omaha, Nebraska that have lingering pet odors.
An ozone machine can be pricey to buy, however, they are often times available to rent in most cities. I would recommend reading how to safely use an Ozone prior to using as they can make the air toxic to breath for a certain period of time after use.
It should also be noted that an Ozone will only clean the air of odors. This does little to no good if there is still an active source of pet odor in the house. This method is recommended to be used in addition to removing and treating the source of the cat odor.
This might seem obvious, but the importance of this statement can not be overlooked. The sooner the cat urine or feces is cleaned up, the less likely you will have to do more than clean or replace some carpet.
If you find yourself in the “replace the carpet and subflooring” category, timing is still critical, although for another reason. If you are getting ready to sell your house and are currently or about to begin addressing the cat smells, timing is everything. You will likely need to keep the cats out of the house completely during and after the damages are addressed. This will avoid any further damages or smells from appearing prior to selling your house.
The importance of addressing the issue BEFORE selling cannot and should not be overlooked. As a cat owner, you may be a little biased, but chances are your potential buyers will notice.
That’s right. I said it. It is still possible to sell your house without doing a thing, even if it smells of cat urine. There are two options that I see here and both have their pros and cons.
If you are overwhelmed with the idea of making all these repairs, you are not alone. We buy tons of houses in Omaha with all of the problems I described above. It can be done. Here’s how:
Sell Your House As-Is on the Market
This option is pretty straight forward. This option is also probably more successful in a hot housing market as there will typically be more buyers competing over fewer houses. This situation often times will allow “issues” with houses to be overlooked. Generally speaking, it would be safe to assume that the value of your home will be less if there is deferred maintenance or “issues” that will need to be addressed by the new owners.
It may be worth nothing, however, that you will likely lose the interest of many potential buyers the minute they walk through the front door, if the smell is easily noticeable or overwhelming. You may need to get creative when going this route.
Sell Your House to a Cash Buying Company
This is also a very straight forward method and is one that is becoming increasingly popular. This option will allow you to simply walk away from the property without making any repairs. The reason for this is there are companies out there that specialize in purchasing houses that need “repairs” or have “issues” that need to be addressed. This is their bread and butter and if they are any good, they have likely purchased dozens of houses that smell strongly of cat pee.
Omaha Homes For Cash is a local home buying company in Omaha, Nebraska that specializes in buying houses as-is, for cash. We provide fast, easy home sales and are equipped to deal with all the problems that those furry cats can cause. We can buy your Omaha house (even with the cat smells) and handle all of the work so you can simply walk away. If you are dealing with smelly carpet, ruined subfloors, or any other cat urine smells in your house and want to sell your house in Omaha, fill in our form below and see how easy our selling process is.
Our process is 100% free and there is ZERO obligation to accept an offer from us. Even if you are unsure of which route you want to go, I encourage you to reach out for a free offer on your house. You have nothing to lose by doing so. We are experienced home buyers with the highest rating in the Omaha area.