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Ask a REALTOR

When selling a home, you want to show it in its best light so that it can make a good impression on potential buyers. This can get to be challenging though when pets are involved, and you have a showing or are hosting an open house. In order to make sure the house looks inviting, smells fresh, and is free of any messes or distractions, here are some tips from our agents on how to show a house with pets and ensure a successful experience for everyone.

Liz Schoeneberger

If you have pets and are listing your home, try to plan on taking your pet out for a walk or visit a coffee shop during all your showings. Buyers can be allergic, or your pets could be protective of their space and respond accordingly. It’s best to let your home shine on its own and not have buyers be distracted by adorable cats or dogs.

Amy West

If you have pets, try to keep the house as clean and odor free as possible. If you can take them with you during showings, that would be best. If not and you have a dog, ensure that it is kenneled. If your pet will be in the house during a showing, always let your agent know so the information can be passed on to the buyer’s agent.

Leigh Ann Rasberry

During showings, have a plan to not have your pets be present. Be sure and pick up all food and water bowls along with any toys and pet beds. You’ll also want to have your floors steam cleaned, including tile, to remove any pet dander. In addition, double check your windows and doors at pet level and clean any smears or smudges. You may not notice them if you’re used to them, but a prospective buyer probably will, and you don’t want any unnecessary distractions.

Jeanette Hussey

Most homeowners will have their dogs in a kennel during showings, and cats usually hide from strangers in their house. Of course, this doesn’t take potential allergies into account, so I would recommend having both in a kennel or with you. Potential buyers and their agents should also know ahead of time if there are exotic pets in the house, even if they’re in aquariums or cages.

A long time ago...I showed a house and was not told there was a ferret in a cage on top of the washer/dryer. When I opened the door for the buyer to see, the ferret was looking at me, and I definitely screamed. You do not want any screaming going on during a showing!

Lori Smith

Sellers usually either remove pets from the home during showings if that is an option or crate them in an out-of-the-way location. You’ll also certainly want to make sure that litter boxes, floors, and furniture are cleaned.

Terri Reynolds

It’s tough for sellers who have pets. More often than not, there is an odor. So, I stress to sellers to try and get rid of any odors relating to pets or not. As far as showing a house with pets, I would recommend pets be put away. Pets are still animals, and you never know what they will do.

Matt Lawing

I always advise my clients who are selling a home to cage their pets. Even if that’s done, the buyer’s agent should be notified ahead of time that there will be animals in the home during a showing.

Debra Mangum
Here are some tips for showing a house with pets:

  1. Clean thoroughly before the showing: Clean up any pet hair, and neutralize any pet odors.
  2. Remove pets during the showing: If possible, have a friend or family member take your pets out of the house during the showing. This way, potential buyers can focus on the house and not be distracted by the pets.
  3. Make sure pet beds, bowls and toys are stored out of sight.
  4. Some potential buyers may have allergies or concerns about pets, so be prepared to address these issues and reassure them that the house is clean and well-maintained, maybe offering to clean carpets.
  5. Remember - this can be scary for the pet and a friendly dog may become territorial when a stranger enters their home - so always be sure to give the Showing Agent the pet’s name so they can talk to it, if needed.

How to ask us a question

Our agents will be answering your questions every month through the Ask a REALTOR® series. If you have a real estate question that you want answered, we’d love to hear from you at marketing@westandwoodall.com.

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