Protecting Your Pets when Selling Your Home!

Real Estate Agent with Pine Knoll Shores Realty NCRE# 242843

Protecting Your Pets when Selling Your Home!

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

When placing your home on the market, remember 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 newborn baby, five cats and a large dog.  The dog was a sweetheart, but looked & sounded scary when strangers entered the house.  We sold the home in 2005 (when the market was booming), which means it was being shown 2-5 times per day.  While it wasn't always easy to clear everyone out, we made it possible.  We really wanted to sell the property and knew that buyers are more likely to look at a property if the seller is not hovering around.  

When showings were scheduled (sometimes just minutes prior to the showing), we would put the dog on a leash, the baby in the stroller, 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 or growling at potential buyers, they will probably run back to their car as fast as possible and may not ever look back. 


If you cannot be 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.  Our REALTOR® also knew our dog, and she would let her in the backyard before the buyers showed up.

Also remember, that just because your dog or cat is friendly, not everyone loves them like you do.  Some buyers do not want your lap dog or crazy cat chasing them around the home and tripping them as they walk around.  Even worse... What if your pet bit someone?  YIKES!

Comments (15)

Joyce Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Ormond Beach, FL
Joyce Marsh Daytona Beach Area Florida Homes

If at all possible, pets should be removed for showing, but it sounds like you came up with a solution that worked. 

Jun 01, 2016 11:55 PM
Cheryl Patterson
Keller Williams Heritage - McQueeney, TX

I myself always worry about the safety and well-being of my clients' fur-babies, yes they might be utter sweethearts but, your right not everyone is okay with an animal jumping on them and begging for attention. This should be every pet owning, home owner's first priority and concern. We have to keep the babies safe and out of the way! 

Jun 02, 2016 12:26 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Amy - people react differently to pets.  If it is possible have them out of the house for showings.  Yours was a good solution.

Jun 02, 2016 12:45 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Amy, what great advice for sellers.  When I sell my home, there will be cats and a Labradoodle I'll have to deal with.  And I know I won't show a house with a loose dog I don't know.  You handled it really well.

Jun 06, 2016 11:54 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hi, Amy.  I included this post in today's Last Week's Favorites!

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. 

Jun 12, 2016 12:23 AM
Amy Hahn

Thank you so much Patricia Kennedy !  I love my pets and almost ALL animals, but I still find it frustrating to show homes with pets tripping me up ;-)

Jun 12, 2016 09:42 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Great choice for Pat to share. Excellent tips for sellers with pets.

Jun 12, 2016 04:21 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


This is such an important topic for homeowners who have four-legged fmaily members. Showing houses when pets in are residence is often such a chore, and who wants to be responsible for not letting one of them escape? You've shared some good suggestions for sellers to keep in mind



Jun 12, 2016 05:50 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Amy- this is such good information for sellers with pets.  When our friend was thinking of listing her home, she found a lady who will take your pets out while the house is being shown. 

Jun 12, 2016 09:50 AM
Rene Fabre
ARFCO Media - Renton, WA
Practicing Philosophical Eclectic of the Arts

All great points Amy Hahn and great advice... Case in point on one is I have a brother who has allergies to many things, especially cats! He even likes them, but I've witnessed him flushing red, runny nose, and coughing. No act, either... Keeping everyone informed with good communication is paramount. Nice read and great points made here!

Jun 12, 2016 10:12 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Amy Hahn - I remember that day when I had to run after the cats to bring them back to house I was showing to my clients...

Homes with Pets have their own challenges.

Jun 12, 2016 04:23 PM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

Amy Hahn Great advice to sellers with pets.  I'm a dog owner too, but on showings they are also a distraction.  Your post is spot on.

Jun 12, 2016 09:19 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Amy Hahn ,

I just caught your post when Elyse Berman re-blogged! So glad she did as I missed it the first time! Excellent advice!

Jun 12, 2016 10:06 PM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Amy. This is excellent. I sold a home with three dogs and when the home was shown, we were always all gone.

Jun 12, 2016 11:18 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I like this post as it reflects protecting the pet.  I am sure many pets are traumatized by the exposure to so many strangers!

Jun 13, 2016 01:29 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

While showing the home a restless attacked the lady and she actually screamed. I apologized. No warning on MLS ....

Well, it is the dog in the garage that charges at you when you open the entrance to garage you see a 50# bark at people.  

Jun 13, 2016 10:38 AM