Selling a Home Where Pets Live

While we love our pets as part of the family, it’s easy to forget that not everyone feels the same way about them.  Taking a few extra steps to prepare a home with pets for the market will make it appeal to a larger group of buyers, which can translate into fewer days on market and a higher sales price. Selling a home where pets live can provide some challenges…but with a little advance thought and preparation, it doesn’t have to.

Preparing your home for the market

  • Repair any pet related damage to the home and furniture
  • Have carpet professionally cleaned and consider replacing it if pet stains and odors linger
  • Give your home a deep clean to eliminate hair, odor and those pesky little nose prints on glass
  • Pick up poop and pet toys from the yard
  • If it’s an option, consider sending your pet on a mini-vacation to a trusted friend or relative while your house is on the market.

Why it’s always best to remove pets for showings

  • Some people may love animals but be allergic to them. If a potential purchaser starts to sneeze and wheeze when they walk into a home you can bet your bottom dollar they will not want to buy that home…no matter how much they love it.
  • Some people are genuinely terrified of animals. It doesn’t matter that you know your dog is a big old bundle of fur who wouldn’t harm a fly, someone with a phobia of dogs will not be comfortable viewing the house while Fido is there.
  • Animals may be territorial. I once showed a house with a cat glaring down and hissing from high on top of the kitchen cabinets. The house could have been perfect but the would-be buyers didn’t notice. The cat made it quite clear we were not welcome and we left as quickly as possible.
  • Even the sweetest of pets can cause a distraction that prevents potential purchasers from fully appreciating the home they’re touring.
  • Reptiles, including snakes, can really freak some people out, which isn’t the reaction you should be aiming for when you’re trying to sell your house.
  • As the pet owner, you may be held liable if you expose potential buyers to injury from attack.

A Word about Odors

You only have one chance to make a great first impression on home shoppers. Don’t let odors spoil an otherwise perfect showing. As a caveat, strong candle scents and overpowering plugin type air fresheners can also be a turn off to potential buyers. It’s best to eliminate the odor at its source.


Listing Photographs

Be sure that all evidence of pets is removed in time for the listing photographs. You might have the cuutest and most hotogenic pooch, but she doesn’t belong in the listing photographs.

Below is the adorable Abby providing a demonstration:


For Showings

  • Remove pet bedding, toys, litter boxes and food bowls
  • Don’t forget to pick up poop and toys from the yard
  • Remove your pet (but never leave your pet in a hot car)
  • Make sure your pet is wearing a sturdy collar and tag
  • Make sure you have food and water available

Bottom Line

Selling a home where pets live can provide challenges…but with some advance thought and preparation, it doesn’t have to.  If you have questions about preparing your home for sale, please call Karen Rice at 434-282-7936.

All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed

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