How to Show Your Home if You Have a Pet

Real Estate Agent with Tunmire Realty

Selling a home with a pet in residence can be a difficult undertaking.

Many home buyers - even those with pets of their own at home - can be put off by yours. 

Pets Can Make Visitors Nervous

No one thinks of their own pet as scary. But even the mildest mannered cat or dog (not to mention snakes or mice!) can make a visitor nervous.

Perhaps the most common response from a home seller about the "threat" posed by their pet is denial: "Buffy is a sweetheart. She won't hurt anyone."

But no owner can be certain of how a pet will respond when strangers enter the home in their absence.

An unexpected reaction could frighten potential buyers away before they've even looked at your home.

Ask Friends for Help

 The safest course of action is to remove a pet from the home while it is listed for sale.

Ask friends or family members to care for the pet, or board it at a nearby facility.

If this is not possible, put your pet into a carrier during showings and alert visitors not to disturb it.

Remove Stains and Odors

Buyers also frequently take issue with a pet's impact on the cleanliness and condition of the home.

Pet stains, odors and damage are a big turn-off and can significantly decrease your home's value in the market.

Use the Professionals

To help your home bring the highest possible price, remove stains and repair any damage your pet may have caused.

Consider having your home professionally cleaned, and have a friend verify that your home doesn't have an objectionable odor.

Store pet accessories out of sight.

The goal: to create a positive first impression with potential buyers.


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Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ

Good Article.  We learn a lot from Active Rain Blogs.  Good Luck.

Oct 25, 2009 03:17 AM #1
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I dread the listing with a dog.....somehow the home always smells like dog. I really think it's great when I can get someone to clean professionally every fabric in the home, then keep puppy outside. We are in So outside is not too bad?

Oct 25, 2009 03:18 AM #2
Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

Serenity.  We have a pest inspector that has gotten bit 3 times by dogs that "wouldn't hurt anyone."  You are so right about not knowing what your pet would really do when strangers are around.

Oct 25, 2009 03:19 AM #3
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI

Sometimes pets during selling are actually an opportunity for a lawsuit; such as a biting dog or an returning cat odor after the sale. 

Oct 25, 2009 03:20 AM #4
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Hi Serenity:  I agree, many people are put off by pets and pet orders. Pet lovers on the other hand don't seem to even notice.  I have a situation now where the cats my present an issue in getting a home sold. That aside, it would be best for the cats if they stayed with family or friends. People coming and going will only stress them out and cause them to create stains and orders that otherwise would not be present.

Oct 25, 2009 03:21 AM #5
John Wall
Realty Connect USA - Hicksville, NY

Every so often you get a real animal lover that isn't put off by a pet.  I'm a dog lover myself, but mostly an animal is at best, a distraction and at worst, will chase (figuratively) a buyer out of the house.  Unfortunately the people with the worst pet "problems" are the same as people with messy houses, they generally don't see or acknowledge it.

Oct 25, 2009 03:38 AM #6
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