Pet Owner How To - Getting Ready for Open Houses

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties DC AB15253


Our dogs and cats are members of the family, but many of them do something that human relatives don’t—shed hair and fur.  Now, the easiest way to deal with this in my humble opinion is to get it right the first time - and get a poodle or another type of dog that doesn't shed!  But if you already have a pet whom you love then you have to find a way to deal with the hair and fur!

That can be an issue during the holidays when you have guests visiting or when you are selling a home.  Potential buyers will be turned off at the sight of animal hair on your carpets and furniture. Even worse, they may run from the house with irritated or streaming eyes. You might even hear the sneezes as they get into the cars and slam the doors shut!  However, it doesn't have to be like that.  You want your buyers to linger and check out the house, rather than check it off the list!   With a little work, you can keep your home clear of your furry friend’s hair during open houses and visits to your for-sale home.

  1. Brush Away Your Problems:
    The first thing to do is to get the fur or hair into a brush rather than on your sofa or a guest!  For many dogs and cats, regular brushing can seriously reduce the amount of hair and fur they shed. Take twenty minutes each evening from your busy schedule to spend with your canine and kitty companions and brush them. Make it a time for bonding and pet their heads and scratch their tummies while brushing.  You will feel better for that time spent with your loving companion!
  1. Buy De-Shedding Gear:
    There are a multitude of products that are designed to de-shed dogs and cats. These include tools, gloves that supposedly mimic the sensation of being petted, tiny rake-like items, and sweaters that contain hair and fur.
  1. Clean on a Regular Basis:
    Take some time each day to sweep and vacuum away hair and fur.  It may sound like a lot, but if you take a few minutes each day, you’ll be prepared for last-minute visits - which always come at the most inconvenient times. Vacuum furniture as well and do a particularly thorough job before open houses.  You want buyers to take the time to sit down and enjoy the ambience of your home.
  2. Get A Professional Groomer
    Professional groomers not only can help with shedding, but they’ll also have your dog looking great and smelling nice.  While you don't want to have your pets around the house while you are showing it for sale, you may want to show your pet off to your holiday visitors!  A pet groomer can also take care of  nail clipping and tooth brushing to eliminate stinky breath. Do your research and make sure you find a good groomer. Check reviews on sites like Yelp or ask for recommendations on social media pages devoted to your community.  I love the mobile groomer, Bark in Style, in the DC metro area!
  1. Give Your Pet a Getaway:
    If your dog really sheds a lot, consider having it spend a few days at a pet daycare or resort. You may have a place you use for vacations, and if your pooch likes it there, let him or her spend some time playing with other dogs. Or, if you have a friend or relative your pet enjoys staying with, have them spend some time there. This is an especially good option for days leading up to an open house.

An abundance of pet fur can be a problem, but it’s one that can be solved.



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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Lise... great advice. People who live with pets often seem oblivious to pet hari and smells in their homes... but to prospective buyers they are very visible.

Dec 04, 2019 05:46 AM #1
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Nina Hollander - and the sellers who think they can leave their pets in the house during the open house!!! Ugh

Dec 04, 2019 05:47 AM #2
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Lise - proper up-front preparation goes a long way when people become home sellers.  Think like a buyer.  Your home is now a product - make it stand out for the right reasons.  

Dec 04, 2019 06:07 AM #3
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morninng, Lise Howe the most important factor is to have the pets out of the home.... all rooms must be accessible.... and without pet hair...

Dec 04, 2019 06:53 AM #4
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

These are great tips for pet owners that are trying to sell there home since a pet can often turn people away.

Dec 04, 2019 09:18 AM #5
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon Lise Howe - my daughters have their doggy daycare.  Shedding is not bad in my younger daughter's bernadoddle.

Dec 04, 2019 10:16 AM #6
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Lise-all good tips for sellers with pets to get their homes ready for an open house!!!Giving them a pet holiday at the spa on the day of the open House is a good idea. 

Dec 04, 2019 06:18 PM #7
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Lise.

Our Sheldon will be in a day care, thing is it costs more to board him than it would for a baby-setter.  Interesting

Dec 05, 2019 12:34 AM #8
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Lise Howe - I really, really hope this one gets a FEATURE on ActiveRain! It's such an important educational post on pet hair and selling a home. I don't have pets anymore but "brush away your problems," really hit home for me. My first dog was an Old English Sheepdog. He didn't shed but he matted. I spent many hours bonding with him to make him feel good but once the kids came along, I took him to a professional groomer as you also suggested. 

This tips you suggested make all the difference to our lovable pets who really are part of the family!

Dec 05, 2019 06:27 AM #9
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Lise, this post made me laugh out loud!   I had a listing this year where they 3 dogs, and SWEAR they did not see the hair laying around - everywhere!  

Dec 05, 2019 07:56 AM #10
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Lise Howe

Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC
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