Ok, I had a moment with weekend where I was doing an open house and the home owners have a cat, which I was not expecting….AT ALL!!. I texted home owners and said “Instructions about the cat??” and he replied “Don’t hurt it.” Well, that was the last thing on my mind. But what was on my mind was “Can the cat go outside?”, “Have the homeowners cleaned the cat box?”, and “What do I need to tell potential buyers coming to the open house?”
Well, most folks including myself have pets and we love them as part of our family. We protect and care for them like our own children. So, I wanted to pull together a few pointers if you are about to sell your home and you have furry, scaley, or feathery friends that live with you.
Selling Your Home with Pets Top 10 List:
- Before you even think about selling your home, make sure it’s in tip-top condition and repair any pet damaged areas like warn grassy areas in the yard and don’t forget pick up the poo!
- Clean and deodorize so the doggy/kitty/bird cage odor is not noticeable. Baking Soda is sold at Costco in 10 lb bags and well worth the cost.
- Have a plan for Fido and Kitty for showings. This may mean taking them with you. And if taking them out of the home is stressful for them, your veterinarian can recommend some options to minimize their stress. But for the sake of your furry friend, don’t leave them in a cage or closet at the house. They don’t understand what is going on and could cause them to get stressed out and scratch or bite a guest looking at your home.
- I know your proud to show off your picture with Rex on top of Mount Kilimanjaro on Facebook but some folks are sensitive to looking at homes that have had pets. Make sure all marketing materials and home photos do not have Rex, his water bowls, his leash collection, or his poo in the pictures. Same as don’t market as “Pet Friendly” it only limits your buyers.
- Maybe it’s not your pet that is the problem…its the neighbors Bengal tiger or 10 hounds. By the way, I love beagles and their sounds, might entice me to buy but 95% of buyers don’t think like that. Talk to your neighbor and ask if you can help pay for someone to walk their Bengal tiger during open house or buy them a doggy day care pass for the hounds so they are away from your house during the open house.
- Hair, fur, and feathers. I’ve spoken about the poo and pee but be mindful of hair and feathers and other by products of your pets on the couch, carpet, and floor. Sprinkle the baking soda on the carpet, let it set for 30 minutes, and vacuum up the hair. Put a mild smelling candle or air fresher or bake come cookies. No incense please!
- Now, you have sold your home and it’s time to move. TALK TO YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT YOUR MOVE!! Your pets will not understand and will be into everything, peeing on boxes of packed china, biting the movers, and could flat out run away. I’ve had that happen as a child. I didn’t understand why we were moving and why my dog wasn’t coming with me! So to say the least, my parents in an already stressful situation had to deal with a really pissed off 6 year old. Talk to your vet!
- Integrate your pet into your new home as they were in your old home. New carpet will see its share of pee and poo like the old home did. No need to putting the family cat outside after 10 years of living inside. It’s just cruel. Relax if they have an accident in the new home. They are making it theirs too!
- Don’t get pushed into a bad situation where you have to choose a home over your pet. You invited your pet into your LIFE not your home. Once again, it’s just cruel to take a pet to the shelter after years of companionship and drop it off or even worse.
- Be prepared to make some quick moves to accommodate your pet in your new home and have a plan before you get there. Maybe a fence or a doggy door needs to be installed. Ask your realtor for help! That is why we are here, to help you and minimize the stress during this transition. If your realtor is not invested in rolling in the back yard with Kitty the Bengal Tiger or petting your beagle Chip when he is presenting his listing presentation….maybe thats a sign ya got the wrong realtor.
In short, we love our friends that bark, meow, swim, chirp, and hiss. They are part of our family and we don’t want them to be a factor in our sale and/or purchase of a house. They will sense your anxiety and respond. The right realtor will minimize that anxiety and make their life better too! And if your looking for a forever friend, check out https://harborhumane.org/
And I have installed doggy doors too!