Home Selling Etiquette For Pet Owners

Pet owners: modern tips for selling your home

Pet owners do not have to banish Fido to make the sale. In today’s real estate market there’s a greater number of people with pets, presenting unique challenges to home staging. Old rules don’t always apply when it comes to selling a pet owner’s home.

Out with the old, in with the new

The old approach was to hide all evidence of pets, from food dishes and dog beds, to the litter box and cat toys. It was commonly advised to remove any proof of pets from the home before a showing. A more modern, pet-friendly approach reflects the more prominent place pets hold in many of our lives.

Help pet lovers picture their pet in your home

Instead of hiding your pet, highlight how your space is a wonderful place for four-legged family members to call home. This doesn’t mean turning your patio into an outdoor cattery or leaving dog beds lying around every room. The idea is to showcase possible options, while keeping it organized and clean.

Set up a “walk-station” at the back door where you can hang a leash alongside jackets, hats and shoes. Store the litter box under a bathroom counter with a cloth curtain to cover the space, or in a closet. Consider purchasing a litter-cabinet, furniture designed to keep the box out of sight but still easily accessible for kitty.

Keep pet items orderly and clean

Stage a specific feeding area in the kitchen, complete with floor mat and new bowls. If space allows, store your pet’s food in that same area. A nook along a hallway makes for a great place to keep a cat-tree, convenient for your cat, while being out of the way and not obstructing the flow of movement in the home.

If your dog is kennel trained, keep the kennel covered with an attractive blanket to help it blend in with the room. You could opt for an attractive dog crate cover, as well. The same can be done for small pets like hamsters. Pet beds should be kept clean and in unobtrusive locations; limit them to one bed per pet to help avoid clutter.

A caveat for reptile pet owners

If you have a reptile, it’s better to house them away from your home when selling. Potential home buyers may hold strong associations with reptiles and negative feelings, and you don’t want that to detract from your home’s value in the buyer’s mind. Plan ahead to find a suitable pet sitter for your reptile pet.

Open house and home showing pet etiquette

It’s still advisable to keep your pet out of the home during open houses and home showings. Pet owners might take the dog for a walk while a potential home buyer tours the home with the agent. Alternately, a family member or friend can keep on eye on your pet while prospects take a home tour. Having your pet out of the home during showings and open houses helps potential buyers (pet lovers or not) stay comfortable while viewing your home. If your pet must stay at home during an open house or showing, let your agent know and keep your pet confined in one area.

Prep and maintain

Pet owners, giving your home a deep clean to help remove any stains and odors should be at the top of your prep list. Next, repair any pet-caused damages, such as door frames scratched up by a cat. Don’t forget to ensure your yard is in ideal shape, make any fence repairs if needed and keep the landscaping clean every day.

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California Realtor, Stephen Theard

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