How to Sell a House When You Have Pets

Your pets are an important part of your family, but when you’re trying to sell your house buyers should not be able to see or smell their presence. Even if your pets are all bark and no bite, you’ll want to take precautions to keep buyers safe and comfortable when showing your home. These could include finding an activity for your pets outside the house or taking steps to clear away unpleasant odors.

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Not all home buyers are animal lovers. Actually many people don’t like animals at all. Others are allergic, and some are afraid of large animals.  As such, you should be prepared to keep your pets in a cage any time a buyer is touring your house. Caging your pets will also help prevent unwelcome “gifts” from showing up at the buyers’ feet.

If you can’t control your pets or they’re too large to cage for long periods of time, then consider boarding them during the day or sending them to stay with family or friends for the time you’re selling and showing your house. If that’s not an option, consider hiring a dog walker to take them out before the home showing starts and bring them back after it ends. Many pets will be happier away from the hustle and bustle.

Before buyers arrive for the showing, be sure to clear your house of any smells or fur your pets may have left behind. Sometimes it can be difficult for homeowners to recognize unusual smells if they have gotten used to them. If you’re concerned, consider asking a friend or neighbor to give your home a “whiff test” before your showing. A great way to clear away any bad odors is to make some cookies just before buyers arrive. It will make your home smell delicious and inviting.


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About Ilyce Glink

Author of 13 books, including the bestselling 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask. Writer of the nationally syndicated column, “Real Estate Matters.” Top-rated radio host in Atlanta. Writer for CBS MoneyWatch.com. Managing editor of the Equifax Personal Finance Blog.
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One Response to How to Sell a House When You Have Pets

  1. Judy Naimo says:

    Excellent advice for pet lovers who don’t know how fur, smells, and other evidence (damage to floors, carpeting, etc) need to be seriously addressed when selling a home. Having a neighbor do a sniff test is a great idea: how quickly pet owners can accommodate to what is familiar to them–their heart is often in their nose.
    Thank you for these recommendations.

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