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When Pet Lovers Sell Their Homes

August 3, 2016

080316_imageI have always loved and enjoyed time with my pets. They bring such companionship and happiness to our lives. We live in a nation of pet lovers; recent surveys show that more than 50% of homes have at least one pet, and this is expected to continue to rise. If you have pets and are planning to sell your home, this is one area to focus on when it comes to preparing your home for showings.

For a long time, common thinking towards listings with pets, was to hide the evidence of animals as much as possible. But as more households include pets, home sellers have been using the appeal of pets to attract potential buyers. With this new trend, instead of hiding all things related to pets, sellers are highlighting the best aspects of having a pet in the home. More often, buyers are seeing this as a pleasant feature to note when viewing a property.

But there are still key concerns to address when it comes to your pets and showing your home. If you have a dog, if at all possible, it should be out of the house at the time of showings. If you can’t remove your dog, a kennel or carrier can be used, but be sure the buyer agents know beforehand that there will be a dog on site. With cats, if they are used to being outside, if possible, have them go out prior to showings. If you have indoor only cats, like a lot of cats, chances are they will hide under a bed or behind a couch and never be seen. If they are of the social sort, however, you may want to consider a carrier for them as well.

080316_image2Another big must for showing your home when you have a pet is cleanliness. Be it a litter box or the backyard lawn, wherever your pets do their business, it must be kept clean. Litter boxes in particular should be kept covered as much as possible. There’s even furniture now designed to contain a litter box so they “virtually” disappear. If possible for showings, remove the litter box from the house.


The cleaner your home is, the better it will smell, and that is a large part of pet concerns for sellers. No one, even other pet lovers, wants to smell your cat or dog. Be sure to thoroughly address the pet-cleanliness of your home. Wash all toys and pet supplies that you can, and keep them neatly stored during showings. A small spray of air freshener or scented oil can help as well, just don’t over-do it with these fragrances, as they too can overwhelm.

If you keep your home fresh and clean, other aspects of pet ownership can be quite appealing to potential buyers. A nice leash on a hook, or new scratch post are elements which can show a pet lives on the property without being too obtrusive. You can keep food and water out if they are kept out of the way and off counter tops or tables. Setting up an eating station with a mat and bowl stand is a great staging point you can incorporate in your kitchen, for example.


Of special note, if you have a bird, rodent, or reptile, I recommend having them stay out of the house while it its listed if possible. While these are wonderful creatures, they don’t hold as wide an appeal to others, and let’s face it, their smell can be more potent than a cat or dog. We have come a long way in sharing our lives with pets, but in some ways, we are still making progress. Don’t let your odoriferous friend hinder the selling of your home.

While not everyone wants or has a pet, the popularity of having a furry companion is growing, Hiding your pet is no longer the cause for concern as it once was. Keep these ideas in mind, and your pet may just help you find the right buyer. When you are ready to sell your home, my team and I are ready to help you through the entire process. Our goal is to make your experience both easy and pleasurable. Contact us today at (925) 634-7820, or by email at

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