A litter box may stink up the entire showing

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

I have a few houses listed in which the owners have a litter box in one of the rooms. I've tried to tell them how that could create an unpleasant experience for the buyer but the owners don't seem too concerned. Either they don't care or they just move the litter box to another room. I can't force them to take it outside during showings. I don't want to be 'catty' but I know how this can affect a buyer's opinion and I would hope the sellers would understand why it's not a great feature.

After seeing the home the buyer may not recall there was a litter box but they may remember having an unpleasant experience while they were there. A bad smell really can cause someone to think the house stinks. We must appeal to all of the buyers'senses when showing a home. They say you only have one chance to make a first impression and you don't want someone to remember your house as being 'kind of crappy'.


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Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Mike, Are the sellers there during the showing? If not and it were me, I'd take the litter box out myself, hide it and grab a bottle of febreeze and spray away before the potential buyers show up!

Jul 12, 2009 01:17 PM #1
Eric Reid
Renaissance Realty Group of Keller Williams Atlanta Partners - Lawrenceville, GA

I have had to go as far as buying the high tech auto scooper for the buyer ..they got the message

Jul 12, 2009 01:17 PM #2
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

I think the sense of smell is the most important of the senses that we should appeal to.  If a home smell, it is hard to sell .....

Jul 12, 2009 01:29 PM #3
Tina Allen
Exit Realty Tri-County - Mount Dora, FL

I think owners of pets just are so used to the smell, they don't realize that it is pretty bad sometimes.  My ex-husband has a few dogs and when my kids come back from being there, I make them put their clothes in the wash and take a shower first thing.  They must roll around on the floor, having fun I am sure, but, peeuuuu!

Jul 12, 2009 01:31 PM #4
Mike Mason
Keller Williams Realty - Miami Shores, FL

I have tried to hide litter boxes by getting them out of the house, stuffing them under steps, behind a tree, wherever I can. 

Unfortunately, one of my cat-loving sellers is always home when I have a showing so I wouldn't dare to mess around with her litter box. I would prefer to toss it in the dumpster but if she caught me she would probably scratch my eyes out.

I tell my cat-loving clients that buyers use all of their senses while viewing a home. Their eyes don't miss a thing - that's why everything should be spotless. They like to touch the walls and door frames and stroke thier hands along the staircase and countertops.

Their sense of smell is very keen to foul odors. Especially when they look around for signs of water intrusion and mold.  Homes that have no odors are fine but bad odors are bad for business.            A litter box not only smells bad but it also looks bad. Some cat lovers may not mind taking a whiff but I assure you the majority of buyers don't want to see or smell a kitty toilet.

I always try to carry some Aromatic Fragrances along with me during a showing,  They create a pleasant atmosphere and that in turn enhances the buyer's experience.

If I have time I also like to put some sugar and cinnammon in a piece of tin-foil and then place it in the oven....as it cooks the sweet aroma fills the whole house and buyers think you're baking cookies. Everyone loves the smell of baked cookies (if they don't they should).

Mike Mason




Jul 12, 2009 04:33 PM #5
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