Your pets are like members of your family, and you couldn't imagine your home without them. However, just because you're overly fond on your pets doesn't mean potential buyers will feel the same. The years living with your pets have been filled with joy, happiness, stains, damage and other signs that your dog or cat has made themselves at home. If you're putting your home on the market, here are a few tips to prevent potential buyers from turning up their nose at your pet-friendly home:

Start with Your Home's Exterior

Your home's exterior is the first thing potential buyers will see, and if the yard is covered with piles of dog feces and urine-damaged grass, it will send a very bad message. Before each showing and open house, walk around your yard and remove any piles of dog feces, toys or any other signs that you have pets.

Additionally, if your pets have damaged your yard in any way, such as grass that was killed by urine and holes created by your precocious dog, it's vital to address these issues, as well. Grab a shovel and fill-in any holes and utilize grass seed to eliminate any bare areas throughout your yard. Finally, if you have any damage to your fence or deck, replace any damaged wood or apply a fresh coat of paint.

Taking these few simple steps will help ensure that potential homebuyers don't walk away before they step through your front door.

Address Any Damage and Odors

Now that you've taken care of your home's exterior, it's time to move on to your home's interior. Before you put your home on the market, walk through each room and locate any damage. This could be anything from a door frame that your dog used as a chew toy, or the spot on your living room carpet that your cat turned into their favorite scratching post.

Once you're done repairing any damage, it's time to tackle a smelly job: all those pet stains. If you have any furniture featuring pet stains, go ahead and toss them out or place the items into a storage unit. Next, eliminate any noticeable stains on your carpet.

According to House Cleaning Center, the best way to eliminate urine stains from your carpet is to first lift any odors with baking soda. Sprinkle the baking soda on the stain and let it sit for a few hours. Vacuum up the baking soda and then apply a mixture of white vinegar and water. If this isn't effective, a solution made from hydrogen peroxide and water is your next option.

Unfortunately, if you cannot remove the stains, it's time to contact a professional. Additionally, if the stains are plentiful and your carpet is damaged, you may want to consider replacing it before selling your home.

Remove Any Remnants of Your Pets

Finally, even though you adore your pets, potential buyers might not feel the same way. This is why it's vital that your pets not be present during open houses and showings. In addition to potentially making homebuyers uncomfortable, you will leave yourself open to a lawsuit, if your pet bites or attacks your guest.

Make sure to also eliminate any pictures, water bowls, kennels or signs that your pet live in your home. Some potential buyers will automatically eliminate your home from their list if there are pets who live there.

Selling your home is tricky enough without having to deal with the damage and stains that your beloved pets have left behind. If you have any other questions about how to successfully sell a home that includes pets, don't hesitate to contact your real estate agent.