Selling a house that your fluffy, furry, finned or feathered friends call home is no easy feat. Beyond keeping a home picked up for showings, it’s important to factor in how pets will affect showings, how to prepare a pet-friendly house and how to make sure pets stay happy and safe during the home showing process.
It is always easiest for pets to be removed from a home for showings. I’ve witnessed a Dr. Doolittle-type home clearing prior to a showing where sellers filled a van with family pets. However, this isn’t always possible or practical. If your pet will be home for a showing, make sure there’s ample warning to those entering the home so they aren’t surprised. Let buyers know if there are kenneled or caged pets, loose pets, and whether the pets are friendly or should be left alone.
When prepping your pet-filled house for showings, make sure you are extra attentive to litter boxes and cages needing cleaning. You may be used to your pets lovely aroma, but buyers will be more sensitive to it. A mild air freshener may help too. Too many plug-ins and it will appear you’re hiding something, but a light odor neutralizer can make a big difference. Also, be sure to do regular floor checks. It’s never fun for a buyer to find pet droppings in the bedroom!
Pets are the Kings and Queens of the castle – or in my case, the jester of the castle. Regardless, they protect the home and want to feel safe. If pets are worried, they may react (for example, by peeing on an agent as she enters the house – true story!). A barking dog will distract buyers; an angry cat may scare a child; a squawking bird can surprise house guests. Make sure that your pet is truly comfortable with strangers entering if they’ll be home for showings.
It can be a lot of work, but just remind “Fido”, if he cooperates for showings, soon enough he’ll have a new home to explore!