Got pets? After 1000’s of showings, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you put buyers at ease to sell your home for top dollar.
The top pet related reasons that showings flop
Barking dogs, hissing cats, animals that jump up on people (yes, even happy dogs!), lack of cleanliness, allergies, pet odors and fear (often caused by prior run-ins with other animals. Remember- buyers often have kids & babies in tow).
Give people a heads up that they may encounter your pet
Ask your Realtor to add a note to the showing instructions so people are prepared to meet your furry (or scaly) friends. Consider posting a sign at the door that buyers will be entering, something like: “Our friendly dog, Rufus, will bark, but he’ll lay down once you greet him”. Or “You may see our friendly cat Fluffy”.
If your pooch barks when the doorbell rings but settles down once visitors get through the door, it’s probably fine to let him roam free for showings. Again- let agents & buyers know that your dog may bark, and that he’ll go about his business once visitors are in.
If you’re not 110% sure your dog will behave, kennel or walk him during showings. If neither of those are an option, consider keeping him in a room with the door closed & a sign on the door, or talk through ideas with your Realtor.
Many people can deal with a little barking, but hissing is a different story. If you’re unable to remove your cat for showings, kennel or keep her in a room with the door closed and a sign on the door for buyers not to enter.
While they may be jumping for joy, an animal that jumps on your potential buyers can ruin clothing, so it’s best to remove, kennel, or keep your jumpy pet behind closed doors.
Friendly, quiet cats & dogs + birds & reptiles
If your cat or dog is friendly & does none of the above, he/she will probably be fine roaming about the house during showings. Again, let agents & buyers know that they will be encountering a pet prior, but there probably isn’t a need to do anything more. It’s also a good idea to give a heads up if you’ve got a large reptile or bird- they can startle buyers.
Unusual pet “situations”
Again, give a heads up to agents and buyers if you’re breeding animals or if you have a lot of animals. A room full on snakes, for example, can not only turn people off but also earn your home the title of “The Snake House” amongst buyers and agents, which typically won’t help your sale (based on a true story!) If buyers know what to expect going in, they’ll enter with an open mind & be less likely to gossip about what may otherwise be a strange or unordinary situation.
Lack of cleanliness, pet odors & allergies
We always recommend giving your home a deep clean before putting it on the market, but its especially important if you have pets. Use a carpet cleaner on the carpets, rugs & furniture. Wash your curtains, bedding, floors, baseboards & cabinets. Clean all cracks and crevices. Clean and/or wash pet beds.
Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. If your basement has a pet odor, keep a dehumidifier running. Consider having your ducts cleaned & using furnace filters made for fur and dander. If an animal has ever had an accident on the floor or furniture, you may need to take extra steps to eliminate the odor. While eliminating odors can be time consuming, it’s wayyy better than attempting to cover the odor with plug in devices, sprays, etc.