Selling Your Home and Protecting Your Pets in The Process!

Real Estate Agent with Pine Knoll Shores Realty NCRE# 242843

Selling Your Home and Protecting Your Pets in The Process!

Are you in the process of selling your home or considering selling your home?  Do you have pets?  There are many ways you can make the process easier for everyone, including your four legged family members.

Amy Hahn Photo
One thing to remember when placing your home on the market is that the easier it is to show, the easier it is to sell.  When my husband and I sold our home in Florida, we had a 3 week old baby, five cats and a large dog.  We sold the home in 2005 (when the market was booming), which means it was being shown on average 2-5 times per day.  While it was a real pain in the bum sometimes to clear everyone out, we made it possible.  Buyers are more likely to look at a property if the seller is not hovering around. 

Amy Hahn Photo

When showings were scheduled (sometimes just minutes prior to the showing), we would put the dog on a leash, the baby in the BabyBjorn, and each cat in a kennel...then we took a stroll around the neighborhood.  We left blankies and water in each kennel and placed them in the laundry room so they were always available for quick access.  We then closed the door, left photos and manuals for the washer/dryer just outside the door, and it worked really well.  Most people didn't even open the laundry room door, except the buyers that were really interested in the property.  And our kitties were not stressed out by having strangers around them.

By placing the cats in the kennels and taking the dog for a walk during showings, we never had to worry about them sneaking out the front door.  Most Real Estate agents are very careful about pets, but some pets (mine included) can be very quick & sneaky.


With cats, ALWAYS keep the litter boxes clean.  If you aren't already (and you should be) scooping them twice a day, start as soon as you place the home on the market.  If a potential buyer walks in to a stinky house, they may not even consider looking past the front door. If your dog is barking at growling at potential buyers, they will probably run back to their car as fast as possible...and may not ever look back.


If you are not present when a showing is scheduled, make sure that your agent is aware of all pets and any special instructions.  When we couldn't be present for showings while trying to sell our home, we would leave our cats in the Laundry Room and lock the door.  If a buyer was serious about the property, we could always schedule a second showing if necessary and make sure that our pets were locked up and safe.  Cats especially don't handle change or stress very well, and these precautions made life much easier for them as well as us and the real estate Agents showing the property.


If you are thinking of selling your property on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, give me a call...even if you don't have pets!




Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Rita Minion 12/27/2009 03:59 PM
  2. Rita Minion 12/27/2009 04:01 PM
  3. Rita Minion 12/27/2009 04:01 PM
  4. Toula Rosebrock 12/28/2009 03:17 PM
  5. Jonathan Benya 01/02/2010 07:37 AM
  6. Jonathan Benya 01/02/2010 07:38 AM
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Eddie Matthew
Zenith Realty - Perry Hall, MD


Excellent advice, although, obviously, sometimes difficult to accomplish.  I tell Sellers that they only move once every five to seven years, so it is worth it for this infrequent occurrence to take the proper steps.  You are right it not only helps to sell the house faster, but it reduces the stress on the pets.

Dec 27, 2009 02:18 AM #1
Christine T.
C.A.T. Construction and Home Staging & Design - Crown Point, IN

I couldn't agree more. We did not put our 2 cats in kennels cuz they would never leave the house. But they would hide from a stranger anyway so it made it easy for me. Our dogs got loaded up in the back of our Hummer and we drove off. Some people were very nice and said we didn't have to leave but I knew they would feel much more comfortable without us there. They would be much more relaxed to sit and lounge and open up closets and cabinets without that feeling of intrusion and us watching them

Dec 27, 2009 02:19 AM #2
Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office - Nottingham, MD


Good thoughts.  I have had households that had to maneuver 4 and 5 dogs around to make the showings easier for the Buyers, but is was worth it.

Dec 27, 2009 02:21 AM #3
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Good tip on the pets. As an inspector, it is always frustrating to be expected to look at a house inside and out, yet not end up with the cats or dogs getting out if they are loose. Some of them are sneaky.

Dec 27, 2009 02:23 AM #4
Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

One of the things I hate about showing homes with pets is when the pets, not the owners , are in the home. Even if the dog is in a kennel. The owners always say oh the dog is friendly do not worry. If they are in a kennel they bark constantly. If they are not they growl and bark. What owners fail to understand is Dogs are protecting the home in the owners absence. That is what they do and it is fine and natural for them. So Owners need to understand that the animal will react differently to strangers when they, the owners, are not around. I have NEVER sold a home when the pets, dogs, were there and the owners were not.

Cats are a bit different and you can show a home without as much distraction. I did have a cat in a home that hid under the bed spread and when the buyer walked into the bedroom the spread moved ! The buyer jumped a mile. We all had a good laugh. I did sell that home

Dec 27, 2009 02:28 AM #5
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

What you did was very good -- it is so difficult when the showing instructions say something like "don't let the cats out" and you go there not knowing what they cats look like, do they dart out or what and being in constant worry that one might get out -- or even worse you do not see any  and worry they are getting trapped in closets or whatever --- either removing pets or caging them is definitely preferred.

Dec 27, 2009 02:42 AM #6
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Amy ditto what that guy Steve said----some cats can recognize an inspector and they know they are an easy mark for sneaking into places they shouldn't go:)

Dec 27, 2009 03:15 AM #7
Nevin Williams
Sierra Pacific Mortgage Raleigh - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh Mortgage Pro

Amy - Great tips for sellers with pets.  We had a cat door installed which leads to a large wooden box in the garage.  Inthe box we have a littermaid automatic scooper for our cats which resolves the oder problem that many cat owners deal with.  So for those who don't diligently scoop and want to sell their home this small investment could make it much easier for them.  Thanks Amy!

Dec 27, 2009 06:44 AM #8
Marian Goetzinger
Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000 - Pine Knoll Shores, NC
Crystal Coast Real Estate NC

Amy,  I remember those days.  Fortunately you didn't lose any animals and it makes you a more understanding REALTOR now.  It's not easy to have a house on the market when you have pets but if you do, then you need to plan for all contingencies...just like you did.

Great blog.

Dec 27, 2009 07:56 AM #9
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Happy New Year!

Dec 27, 2009 03:45 PM #10
Rita Minion
O'Brien Realty - Solomons, MD

Hi Amy,

Good information and advice for pet owners when selling their home!  Nothing like a dog or cat running free inside, and next thing you know their running loose in the yard!  Thank you so much for sharing it with us.  Happy Holidays!




Dec 27, 2009 03:57 PM #11
Michelle Pimentel
Empire Home Staging Solutions - Upland, CA
ASP, IAHSP Empire Home Staging


Sure sounds like you have a house FULL!  Great advise for sellers who have pets...always a good idea to have them out of the house so that buyers are able to walk the property freely!

Dec 27, 2009 05:06 PM #12
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Amy good points. I have seen both the good and the bad when it comes to pets in the house and the yard. (dang I hate stepping in yard fudge...) 

Helping you help others live their American dream...

Dec 27, 2009 07:01 PM #13
Toula Rosebrock
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ - Lacey Township, NJ
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,


Hi Amy:


This is great advice for sellers!

I'll be re-blogging this one!!!

Dec 27, 2009 11:44 PM #14
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

All great advice Amy.

Showing homes when there are pets running around can be a huge draw back for potential buyers.

Not everyone likes dogs or cats.

Your advice should help those with pets when selling their homes.

Dec 28, 2009 01:56 AM #15
Dan Edwards 425-276-7008
Keller Williams Realty - Bellevue - Bellevue, WA

I am pretty level headed when it comes with handling pets, however my buyers are new and foreign to walking into a strangers home.  Sellers need to make it as easy as possible.  Great post and I love the photo of the cats on the chairs starring up LOL

Dec 28, 2009 12:54 PM #16
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Amy!  I agree with Dan--I'm okay with it but, my buyers, who already feel a bit uncomfortable trapsing through strangers' homes, may not be.  Make it easy for them, please!

Dec 28, 2009 04:14 PM #17
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Amy,

Great advice for what to do with pets while showings occur. There are many buyers afraid or allergic to pets. We have many multi-cultural buyers and they are not use to pets and find the hair shed and odors very offensive.

Dec 28, 2009 10:10 PM #18
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Amy, You had a good system for protecting your pets and making it the best showing for the buyers.  I always feel bad when I see the sellers packed up in the car with the kids and the dogs driving away as the buyers and I are coming - it must be a pain for them! 

Still, it's nice to view the home without worrying about losing someone's pet.

Dec 30, 2009 11:54 AM #19
Tracy Santrock
Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge

Hi Amy,

I have a cat and a dog so I can relate.  I think the pets need to be removed for showings even if it is a pain :)

Jan 03, 2010 03:30 AM #20
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