How to Sell a Home with Pets

When someone is touring your home and deciding whether or not to buy, the last thing they want is a dog barking in the background or a cat rubbing around their legs – or, even worse, to be overwhelmed by the smells and stains your beloved four-legged friends have left behind.

It’s hard for a dog or cat-lover to understand, but not everyone likes animals. Many people become nervous around unfamiliar animals, which could cause them to be distracted while walking through your home. And the flip side: Having new people come into your home when you aren’t there could be confusing and unsettling to your pets as well. Or a buyer could have an allergy – and you don’t want a prospect to get lost in a sneeze attack instead of looking at your home, right?

So how do you keep the pets at bay while listing and showing your home? Read on for tips & tricks.

1. Enlist family & friends.

When photos and showings are scheduled, find a family member or friend who would be able to come over, pick up your pet and house them for awhile. Or best case scenario: If you have a really gracious friend (and your pets are adaptable), even consider asking them to keep your pet(s) until the house sells so you don’t feel frantic is a last-minute showing pops up.

2. Find a great boarder.

If you don’t have willing family or friends around, you might consider finding a trusted boarder near your home to house your pet for the time you need. Bonus – it might even be a good time for a pet spa visit, so you can knock out that summer haircut and nailing clipping at the same time.

3. Take them on a pet date.

Many cities are becoming more and more walkable - and pet friendly. If the weather is nice, many restaurants that have outdoor seating are fine with tail wagging companions. Or hit up local trails, the dog park, or even a dog bakery for a special treat!

If your pet absolutely must stay in your home during a showing (or if your furry friend isn’t so furry, like fish or a reptile), check out these house prepping tips:

  • Clean, clean, clean: Empty litter boxes, clean fish tanks, vacuum, put away their toys, use air freshener … anything you can think of to clean up those pet smells and stains. Then have an honest friend come over to smell the house in case it needs more freshening up.

  • Keep animal(s) in a low-profile area: Buyers will spend most their time in kitchen and living areas, so keep pets in nondescript areas like a spare bedroom or a temperature-controlled basement or garage. However, remember that buyers will want to see the entire house – so make sure your agent (and other agents) know where animals are located so they can proceed with caution (even if the animal is outdoors).

  • Add a note: If your pet is housed in the home, it might be a good idea to leave a note for prospective buyers that you have an animal, where it is, and kindly ask them not to disturb it. You definitely don’t want buyers sticking their fingers in a cage or crate and getting bitten or scratched.


Need more tips? Ready to look or list? Let’s grab coffee today!