When putting your home up for sale, it’s crucial to make a plan for your pets. While prospective buyers may love their own pets, they don’t want to see — or smell — yours when touring your home. Here are a few ideas for keeping your pet’s presence low profile.
Arrange for help. Boarding your pets might be cost prohibitive, especially when homes are on the market for extended periods of time. However, it’s crucial that your pets not be inside the home when it’s being shown. When notified of a showing, be prepared to remove the animals. If you work far from home, consider making arrangements with a neighbor, friend or family member to care for them during the showing. If you are selling by owner, insist on scheduled appointments only.
No exceptions. At best, potential buyers will be distracted by your pets, especially barking dogs and free-roaming cats. Even worse, buyers or their children may be frightened by your pets and refuse to go inside. Liability is another concern if a potential buyer were to be scratched or bitten.
Leave no trace. Beds, bowls, litter boxes, crates and toys should also be removed. Pare down your pet’s belongings before your home goes on the market so when you get the call for a showing you only have a few things to grab.
Beware of odors. Ask any experienced real estate agent and they will tell you that unpleasant odors can kill a buyer’s interest. Besides cigarette smoke, pets are probably the leading source of odors. You may have grown so accustomed to your pet’s smells that you don’t notice it. Ask friends or neighbors for their frank opinion.
Have all carpets and rugs professionally cleaned before listing the house. If your pets are permitted on the furniture, steam clean the upholstery. Ask cleaners to use solutions specifically designed to lift pet smells and stains. To keep odors from returning, bathe dogs more often, and clean litter boxes and cages more frequently.