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Fido and “For Sale”- How to Handle Pets When Selling Your Home

This topic falls under the category of “selling your home is NOT the same as living in your home”.

Even the world’s biggest dog lover can have a hard time with pets in the home during a showing.  Living with, and loving YOUR pets is very different from a potential buyer entering your home and loving YOUR pets.

This might be a normal afternoon activity for you and Fido…Potential buyers will not want Fido to expect this of them


As sellers, it’s important to help potential buyers envision what THEIR life could be like in your home.  Your barking dog or counter climbing cat will not make that vision so easy.

While maybe not the most convenient for you, the very best thing to do with pets during a showing is to remove them from the house entirely.  This isn’t just better for the showing, but for your pets, too.  Many new visitors can cause anxiety for your cat or dog…and even if kenneled, can lead to whining, barking, etc.  Not very welcoming for your potential buyers.  Try to find a friend, neighbor or family member to take care of your pets outside the home for the afternoon.

If sending your pets out for the day isn’t an option, DEFINITELY  keep pets out of sight during showings.  Pets can make people nervous.  And nervous is not the feeling you want your potential buyers to have.  A slobbery dog jumping up when you step on to the back patio or cat watching speculatively, perched high atop his carpeted cat tree in the master bedroom, do not exactly lend to a serene feeling.  Do your best to keep Fido and Snowball out of sight…and out of mind.




This means concealing all signs of pets, entirely.

  • remove food and water bowls
  • vacuum, vacuum, VACUUM. 
  • store pet toys and paraphernalia (dog beds, cat towers) out of sight
  • if pets are not in their kennels, store those, as well
  • if you have a dog, clean up after them in the back yard!  Nothing could make a house seem more undesirable than stepping in something while touring the garden
MOST IMPORTANTLY….be conscious of pet odors!  Sometimes it’s difficult to realize you have a pet odor situation on your hands.  If you’re not sure, ask a friend to come over and take a whiff.  You want potential buyers to have the best possible impression when they walk in your front door, not be blown away by the odor.
Solve pet odor problems by:
  • removing litter boxes and deep cleaning the places they were located
  • have carpets professionally cleaned.  Often times, pet accidents will leak through to the pad beneath the carpet and can cause long lasting odors
  • use fresh air or natural cleaners!  Open doors and windows…using too many air fresheners will often just mask the pet odor, and can leave an incredibly unpleasant smell themselves
Follow our advice…potential buyers will thank you by offering top dollar on your home.
Fido will thank you.



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