We love your pets and all their amazing tricks, but selling and pets just don’t mix! Yes, we sure love our pets (House Dressings team members count 5 dogs, and 3 cats among our extended critter families) but we understand that not all buyers share our fondness for the furry four-leggers. In today’s competitive real estate market, sellers strive to create broad appeal, casting a large net for potential buyers, not a small niche of folks who keep a stable-full of animals under their roofs.
In October, we’re discussing best practices for selling with pets. According to Zillow, 60% of today’s sellers have pets, but the majority of buyers who love pets want to visualize their own pets in a potential home, not the sellers. See our helpful tips below:
1. Before you list:
-Cleaning is totally step one for any house but especially those with pets. Besides a good overall spring clean - all rugs and carpets must be steamed cleaned and remain odor-free
-Remove stickers on front door warning of pets inside
-No “beware of dog” signs on doors, fences or gates
-Repair any damage to the home done by pets such as scratches and chew marks on doors, base boards or cabinets
-Let’s talk about framed photos of your family pet, animal-themed art & decor accessories, or even urns with deceased pet ashes. It’s a short conversation: please - no!
-After cleaning, invite a friend or family member over to do a sniff test for you (preferably someone without pets!). If the smells still linger, extra-strength odor neutralizing solutions could be needed, including a professional ozone generator treatment.
2. Tips for photo day:
-It’s important to remove all evidence of pets on photo day
-For dogs, start by hiding food & water bowls, toys and toy baskets, doggy beds, and leashes hanging near doors
-Cages can be especially distracting, so please store in garage, a room that won’t be photographed or even along the side of house
-For cats, please no carpeted climbing trees, scratch posts, toys, bowls and especially litter boxes
-Smaller critters in cages such as hamsters, birds and snakes can easily be removed from a room while it’s photographed
3. Purrfect Practices for showings:
Follow all of the tips suggested for photo day, so no trace of your cutie pie’s carbon “paw print” can be seen. We’ve discovered that some buyers with pet allergies tend to be less “allergic” when touring pet-occupied homes without visible signs of the pet’s presence. While it does take some advance planning and logistics, we sure recommend removing all pets (large & small!) for showings, open houses and caravan tours.
Here are some helpful options:
-Take the pets with you in the car as you roll out of the driveway before each showing
-If you’re at work during a showing, ask a neighbor or family member to pop by and take your pet for a walk or over to their house while potential buyers tour your home
-Occasionally pet owners prefer to board their pets for the first few weeks their house is on the market
-Or ask a pet-friendly family member to “host” your pet at their house for a few weeks
-As a final option, if your pet must stay home and be kenneled for showings, select the location of the kennel very carefully. Avoid the first few rooms the buyers will see when touring your home. Laundry rooms, guest bedrooms, and covered patios work best.