Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Showing and Selling a Home with Pets

In a previous Sarasota Home Town Blog, I discussed home buying tips for those of you with dogs. We love our pets, whether they be dogs, cats, hamsters, hedgehogs, or pygmy goats—but that doesn't mean that potential buyers want to see those pets (or any evidence of them) when looking at a home they're thinking of buying. According to, "Pets are either an attractive distraction, so cute they distract prospective buyers from looking at the real estate, or completely the opposite—smelly, frightening, or otherwise off-putting." So why don't home buyers like your pet? There are several reasons:

  • Nervousness-pets make some people very uncomfortable. Not everybody grew up with a family pet or enjoys outings at the zoo. Fur and four legs does not a human make.
  • Inexperience-Pets are not always predictable.
  • Your pets aren't their pets. They imagine that yours bite, jump, vomit, claw, or are just plain hyper and bad, which is not all like their pets. Their pets are perfect.

Here are some tips for selling a home with animals:

  • Cat Litter Boxes & Dog Potty Pads -Keep them out of sight and impeccably clean. Nothing turns off buyers faster than opening the door to the laundry room and being greeted by a full or stinky cat box. And...please do not put a litter box in your bedroom closet!
  • Carpet & Floor Pet Stains and odors-Hire professionals to remove the stains. Buyers will spot them and form unfavorable opinions about the rest of the house. If the stains can't be removed, then remove the floor covering and replace it.
  • Pet Odors and Smells-Cat urine is the worst. Bring in a neighbor to do a sniff test. Dog odor gets into carpeting and pet beds, too. Do not use air fresheners. People with allergies will react. Try enzyme cleaners or call a professional ozone company.
  • If you have a dog, decide whether Fido will be okay to stay in a crate while your home is being shown, and attach a note warning buyers not to disturb them. If possible, remove your pet – take him for a walk or to the dog park. Do not leave your pets running free when you know your home has a showing. Did you know that you could be held liable for your pet biting someone while on your property? If you own a pet and are leaving them in your home during showings this should be a real wake up call! I know you are probably thinking Fido would never hurt a flea. Is it really worth taking a chance?
  • Clean your yard - Pick up any messes in the backyard, fill holes and have any sod replaced and other damage repaired as necessary. You may be the kind of person who picks up after your pet regularly, or you may have a cat that causes very little impact to your yard. However, a large number of dog owners give their pets free reign of the backyard. This is a great life for dogs and cats, but it can be hard on the look of your lawn. One of the best tips, when selling a home with pets, is to make sure you don’t neglect the yard as this is just important to some buyers as the inside of the home.
If you have any questions at all, please call Ron Beahm at RE/MAX Alliance Group in Sarasota, Florida!

Sources and Credits:, The Washington Post