Selling? What to do with the Family Pets

You are getting ready to sell and doing everything you need to do to ensure that you show your property at its best. Cleaning, fixing, painting, rearranging, purging, and bringing in the key pieces to enhance the house. If you are still living in the house, and you have pets, they may be hurting your chances of a sale in spite of all your great preparations.

I tell my staging clients with pets that the ultimate situation is when the buyer does not know a pet lives in the house. That means no evidence of food, toys, beds, crates, aquariums, cages, fur, feathers or odours. It’s not always possible to achieve the ultimate, so do what you can. For example there are times when kitty litter boxes have to stay, but you can make sure they are really clean and placed somewhere obscure near the end of the buyers’ tour. If you are sure your cats will hide under the bed, and they are indoor cats, then having them there for showings is a small risk. On the other hand, if you are able to take your pets out of the house for showings, this may in fact be easier on your pets and certainly will be better for the showing.

As much as we love our pets, others do not tend to feel the same. There are misconceptions, fears, allergies, and bad experiences galore which people bring with them when viewing your home. When a buyer walks through your home nervously looking for the dog, or wondering if the cat peed in the basement, they are not having the happy and welcoming experience you want them to have.

Pet odours are a very big concern. Buyers can image spending thousands of dollars to remove carpet or worse if they smell urine. When we live with a smell we stop being aware of it, so be sure to ask someone with a fresh nose who will tell you the truth if you have any pet odours.

Don’t assume that your pet will behave the same when you are not home as they do when you are. I’m an animal lover who usually gets along great with them all yet I have been attacked by dogs, cats and birds. Pet owners are usually aghast that their darling pet would do such a thing. Ask someone who your pet does not know to stop in on their own and test how everyone reacts.

Yes we love our special members of the family. And when selling, even the pets may be asked to do their part.

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