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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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
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh, this is a fantastic post and SO true, Lise! Many pet owners are oblivious and it takes fellow pet-owner-agents to give them a hefty dose of reality sometimes!!

Happy, Happy, Merry, Merry!!

Dec 26, 2019 09:59 AM #11
Robin Wells
RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections - Penetanguishene, ON
Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time

Thanks for post and tips.  Not only open house but really any showing!  

Dec 26, 2019 12:37 PM #12
Erica Glessing
Real Estate eBroker - Morgan Hill, CA
Realtor serving Morgan Hill, Palo Alto, Los Altos

Those are great tips thank you! 

Dec 26, 2019 01:13 PM #13
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

So true Lise Howe .  I would add one thing I learned from a carpet installer is to use a small rake (like on a broom handle) instead of vacuuming.  You won't believe how much dog hair it picks up.  I have two dogs that shed.  :-)

Dec 26, 2019 04:09 PM #16
AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

Hi dear, thank you. If you allow me I would love to have these advices as flyer for my next customers. Can I? I don't have dogs do this will be very helpful. Thank you agai

Dec 26, 2019 05:09 PM #17
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Lise:

There's some great advice here, epsecially when you are selling your home and have 1 or more pets. I showed a home to a buyer earlier this year and it was beautifully remodeled and decorated, but the amount of cat hair laying around was appalling to my buyer, on top of dirt in general...he also happened to be a dog owner.


Dec 26, 2019 05:26 PM #18
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

I have a chocolate lab and he sheds hair like crazy. I am always vacuuming the carpet and floors.  Thanks for the tips.

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Dec 28, 2019 02:58 AM #37
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

These are all great tips ! We just had the Family Christmas Meal and spent extra hrs correcting some of the things mentioned in your post!

Dec 28, 2019 03:36 AM #38
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

The hardest part of selling a home with a pet is making sure the pet isn't in the house when buyers come to see it. Not everyone can leave work to take care of a pet in the middle of the day.

Dec 30, 2019 07:27 AM #39
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Lise Howe

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