Sellers: Avoid Pet Problems

Houses and Pets

Many real estate agents are animal lovers and have pets of our own, but we have all shared stories of having our fingers or ankles nipped by furry creatures during a showing. We have opened the front door to the home we are showing only to have a purebred Persian kitten scoot toward the nearest busy street.

If you have pets and are going to put your house on the market, be sure to work out the showing arrangements carefully. It is important for us to be able to communicate to our colleagues what to expect when they pass through your front door. It is rare for pets to pose significant problems, but big dogs can be menacing. Buyers or agents may be allergic or even a little phobic about dogs or cats.

It is difficult to get a buyer excited about your home if he or she is sneezing continuously or unwilling to cross the threshold because your dog is barking away intruders. If your agent knows there might be a problem, they can arrange ahead of time for you to walk the dog, vacuum the cat dander or do whatever is necessary to make sure that the showing goes smoothly.

House Odors and Selling

Do you have a dog or cat that lives indoors with the family? A pet can pose a problem when your property is listed for sale. Even if prospective buyers have pets of their own that smell just like yours, they may be repelled by animal odors as they tour your home. If you have a pet odor problem, you should hire a professional to clean and deodorize the furniture and/or carpets that have been affected. Check the cat box frequently and keep the kitty litter fresh.

Some people have allergies to pet hair or irrational fears of certain animals, so it is a good idea to put dogs or cats outside or confine them to one area when your house is being shown. It is hard for buyers to appreciate your home through puffy, watery eyes or in between sneezes! Even if the house is exactly what they want, your chances of selling it will be diminished if the buyers are afraid of being attacked by Fido.