It's harder to sell a house that smells like dogs or looks like pets have lived in them.

How can you keep your house free of the smells from pets before you put it on the market?

Steam Clean Everything Fabric

The first thing you need to do is take care of all the soft surfaces in the house. They hold the most odors.

This includes carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, and even the drapes, since pets rub against drapes, getting oils, odors, and fur on the fabric. Get your curtains professionally cleaned.


Before you list your home, take your dog to the groomer. Make sure you groom them professionally and not at home. This way you get more hair and dander, and it goes down their drain, not yours.

While your home is listed, regularly brush your dog outside to keep hair off the sofa or rugs.

Clean Tile-Floor Grout

Tile grout also sucks up pet stains and smells. You can steam clean grout to lift those stains and smells. If the grout is really looking bad, hire a pro to chip it out and put in new grout.

Get an Air Purifier

You may not notice pet odors since you've been used to them. Adding an air purifier with a HEPA filter will pull hair and dander out of the air and reduce that smell.

Most air ducts don’t need to be cleaned, especially if you change filters regularly. But if dander and fur seem to be taking over, hire a duct-cleaning company before putting your home on the market.

Use Enzymatic Cleaners

Enzymatic cleaners are specially made to remove pet odors. They're made from beneficial bacteria that eat stains and odors.

They’re formulated to get rid of a specific type of stain, so a cleanser that targets urine won’t be the same as one for vomit. Apply them liberally to stains regardless of how old they are.

Get Rid of Scratches

Pet toenails leave telltale marks on doors and walls. For walls and doors made of synthetic materials, you’ll just need to paint over the marks. If you have a wooden door, use wood-filler pen can fill in the scratches. On hardwood floors, rub out small scratches with steel wool or fine sandpaper followed by mineral spirits, wood filler, and polyurethane. For major damage, refinishing the hardwood is a good investment.

Absorb Odors With Charcoal

Charcoal is great for pulling moisture and odors out of the air. Place inconspicuous little bags of it in places your pets love most. Or, just strategically stash some charcoal briquettes around the house.

Spot Clean Furniture Daily

Keeping your dog off the couch isn't always possible, so cover your freshly-cleaned furniture with throws or pet covers, and wash them at least once a week. Vacuum rugs and carpets every day. Pet smells sink in fast.

Get a Sniff Test

You’ve scrubbed everything, and you think your house smells like a dog has never set foot in the door. Get a second opinion as to whether the odors are gone. You may be nose-blind. Ask your agent to walk through and give you an honest opinion.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.


7056 Tombstone Road NW, Albuquerque, NM  $269,000

4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 partial) / 2654 Square Feet

 This wonderful Green Built Silver Rated DR Horton home is located near parks, shopping & walking trails. No neighbors behind the home. Huge loft, and even a downstairs office with French doors. All appliances are included. With a HERS rating of 60, this home is extremely energy efficient! 

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

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