*Photo Credit to Kontrol Media Studio’s in Thunder Bay ON*
Selling a home that you share with pets can sometimes present challenges. Not everyone is as enamoured by our pets as we are. I share my own home with 4 dogs and a cat; I understand many of the unique challenges that we face when selling a home shared with loved pets.
Here are some suggestions for making the most of showings and open houses, even when you have pets;
Take Them Out for Showings and Open Houses
Arrangements really should be made to take pets out for showings. Not only is having strangers in your home stressful for your pet, but pets can also make potential buyers feel equally stressed. Not everyone likes dogs (even crated) and I have worked with many buyers who are terrified of cats. Let’s not even go into reptiles, snakes etc. I would imagine that those are hard to take out, but maybe consider covering their lodging with a blanket? I once literally jumped clear across a house when an extremely large snake started rolling around in it’s aquarium- my Clients were equally terrified. I’ll be honest- it’s hard to enjoy viewing a home when you are uncomfortable with the owners pets, and the whole point of having a home listed is to sell it.
If you are unsure of how to manage pets when you are away at work, I have many suggestions- please ask!
Clean and then Hide the Litter Box
Litter boxes absolutely need to be clean- do a complete dump and refill often throughout the week and clean daily. Litter box smells are extremely off putting to most people. Consider hiding the litter box and accessories for showings.
Eliminate Pet Fur from Surfaces
Pet fur really needs to be swept up and vacuumed off of all carpets and furnishings. Many people have allergies, and seeing a house with lots of pet fur can be an immediate turn off.
Clean Carpets and Floors
Give serious consideration to having carpets professionally cleaned prior to listing your home for sale. It can be amazing how much pet smell carpets hold. Always thoroughly clean floors prior to showings or open houses.
Fresh Crate Mats and Pet Beds are Best
Wash them and keep them fresh- I find that crate mats and pet beds can really hold smells- best to keep them freshly laundered for showings.
No Food and Water Bowls
I would suggest removing them for showings, along with any pet toys- the whole objective is to make your house appear AND smell pet free. Please please please don’t feed smelly canned food prior to showings or open houses.
Clean up Dog Poop
Clean your yard and dispose of any dog waste prior to all showings and open houses. Buyers WILL walk through your yard, and you definitely don’t want them to step in dog poop.
A Special Note on Summer Showings
This can be very difficult, but remember that the ultimate goal is to sell your home- in the summer, I suggest not taking the dogs for a swim if at all possible the day of or before showings- we all love our dogs, and we want them to be happy, but wet doggy smell is not a pleasing scent.
If you have an air exchanger, keep it running to keep the air inside your home as clean and fresh as possible.