Selling A Home And You Have Pets?

I love my dog Crosby.  That's him in the pic.  Look at his little face ... we love him to bits and you love your pet too - I totally get it.  But when it comes to selling your home and you have pets, you need to remember that: 

  • Not everybody likes pets in the house;
  • Some people will avoid houses with pets;
  • Not everybody wants to see, smell or hear your pets.

Humans have a thing called ‘sensory adaption’ which means that bad smells that are constant, eventually seem ‘normal’ to us and aren’t recognized by our noses anymore.  So if you have a pet and you cannot smell anything, trust me, other people will be able to smell them.  So don’t trust your own nose. Before listing your house for sale:

  • Get the carpets and upholstery cleaned;
  • Wash all hardwood and tiled flooring;
  • If you feed your dog or cat cannned food, dispose of any food they do not eat immediately.  Do not leave it in the bowl lingering all day long.  The smell of canned pet food is not nice;
  • Throw out old stuffie toys and wash any that you want to keep;
  • For showings and open houses, put away the dog and cat beds, all the toys, the bowls of water and food, scratching posts - make sure you put anyway any evidence that a pet lives in your home.  

Keep it clean between showings and hide it away for showings and open houses if possible.  Get a litter box with a cover or lid. That’ll help contain the smell and conceal anything that goes on while you’re at work.

Unless you’ve got a hairless cat or a non-shedding dog, you’re going to have fur in the house. It’s your job as the Seller to keep it fur-free, and unfortunately, that might mean sweeping and vacuuming multiple times a day. It’s never good when potential Buyers get distracted by furballs or allergy sufferers start sneezing uncontrolably.  

Poop in the Yard
Clean up all the poop and poop bags from in your yard before every showing and leave the Buyer with a poop free yard on closing too.  
Showings and Open Houses 
This is the tricky bit with our fur babies, while agents will do their best to make sure they don’t let out your cat or dog out during a showing or open house, if you’ve got a runner, consider crating or boarding your pets.  Whenever possible, while the family needs to vacate the home, take your pet with you, leave them with a family member, do whatever you need to do to make them disappear during that time!!!   If you’ve got a dog, arrange for someone to walk it during each and every showing. This is also kinder for your pet. Keep in mind that strangers entering your home are likely to freak your pet out. 

Barkers, Biters, and Scratchers
There’s nothing less welcoming than entering a home to maniacal barking. Pets can be unpredictable, and every experienced agent has been scratched by a cat, jumped on by an excited dog or bitten by something at some point. While it will make your home memorable, it probably won’t make people want to buy it.

At the end of the day, our pets are part of our family and we wouldn't leave our kids and all our kids toys and bowls and bathroom habits out for potential buyers to see.  We wouldn't leave our babies in highchairs in the corner of the kitchen while a showing is happening or Grandma asleep in the basement Sunday afternoon during an open house.  If at all possible, make arrangments for your pets so that your house shows pet free.

- Justin