How to Sell Your Home When Fido Reigns King
We know you love your furbaby, but they can cause some issues when it's time to sell your house. Some people just plain don't like pets (monsters! We know), and any sign of a furry friend in the house could be a huge turnoff for these people and might just spell a lost sale for you. Here's how to make your home seem pet-free, even when it's not.
Say goodbye for a while
If you can get your pet out of the house until your home sells, that's really the best option. That usually means asking a friend or family member to watch your pet while you're selling the house. Just know that you're asking for a pretty big commitment. You should offer to compensate them in some way. We always recommend wine, baked goods, and cash!
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If you don't have anyone who can take your furbaby longterm (or you just can't bear to be away), doggie/kitty daycare might be a good option for you. Your pet will be out of the house while you're at work and he'll likely be so tired from playing that he can't make much of a mess when you bring him home in the afternoon. Plus it means you don't miss out on any time you'd normally be spending with your pet.
Find a place for your pet during showings
You would never curl up on the couch and binge on Netflix during a showing, would you? Your potential buyers might be just as surprised if they walk in and see your dog lounging on the furniture or your cat glaring at them from under the table. Make a plan where you can safely put your pet during showings. We recommend:
- The garage, just be sure it's not too hot and anything they can get into is put away
- The backyard, again, be aware of the weather
- A crate or pet carrier
- Your office
- A neighbor's house
Let your pet meet your Realtor
If you know there's a chance that your Realtor and your pet might be in the house at the same time, it's a good idea to let them meet. That way your dog will be less likely to bark his head off when your Realtor comes in because he already knows her.
Remember, just because your pet has met your Realtor that doesn't mean you should let him or her loose in the house during a showing. Pets can still be unpredictable and you'll be liable if your pet decides to snap or scratch at someone in your home.
We get it. Not everyone can afford to board their pet for long periods of time—especially if you're already planning for moving expenses—and not everyone has friends or family who can take your pet long term.
If your pet is staying with you while you're selling the house, the most important thing you can do is to work out a plan with your real estate agent or Realtor. Your plan should include
- How much notice you'll need: Maybe you have some flexibility at work and you can run home an hour before a showing to do a quick cleanup and get your pet someplace out of the way. Just be sure you communicate that to your Realtor show she knows not to just drop by the house without warning.
- Where your pet should be and when: You might be able to run home right before a showing and put your pet somewhere safe and out of the way in your home. But since you know that your furbaby isn't going to be happy hanging out like that all day, you can ask your Realtor to let them back in the house or out of their cage on the way out.
Clean up and declutter
It almost goes without saying, but make sure you clean up any traces of your pet on a daily basis. That means vacuuming up pet hair, cleaning dog poop out of the backyard, and fixing any scratches or damage your pet has done over the years. You should also:
- Put away food and water bowls when they're not in use
- Clean up any toys, crates, and pet beds
- Deodorize the house
- Hide the litter box
We never said selling your home when you have a pet would be easy, but the hard work is worth it when you're finally able to make that sale.