Let me be the first to say that I love animals! Love love love. That does however exclude snakes 🙂
But…when I put my house up for sale I had to address the issue of my dogs and what I was going to do when I had showings. It is something you need to give some serious thought to and discuss with your Real Estate Agent.
Although it is disclosed that there is a an animal in the home, it is always best if the potential buyer never encounters or sees your pet. They do not always read all the disclosures or remember them from house to house and either way, it is best that when they enter your home they see no sign of your pet.
- No Kennel
- No Food and Water Bowls
- No Beds or Toys
Now this is tougher for cat owners as if the cat if left in the home, the kitty litter needs to be left in the home. If that is the case make sure the kitty litter is in a concealed area. The lower level and such as the furnace room is best. Please make sure it is not on the main level and for sure not in one of the main living areas or a bath tub. A covered litter box versus an open one as pictured should be used and keep it clean!
Cats that run and hide when someone enters a house really aren’t much of a problem. If you have a social cat that will greet the buyers at the door, you again may want to make arrangements for your cat to not be in the home.
Here are some general reasons why your pet should not be in the home:
- Some people just aren’t animal lovers and having them in the home freaks them out.
- Even if they are animal lovers they won’t know if your pet is friendly and may be uncomfortable.
- If your dog is a barker and is laying in a crate barking the entire time, the buyer will be annoyed and rush through looking at your home. Plus it will leave the buyer with a negative emotional feeling about your home.
- If the buyer sees dog beds, cat toys etc it triggers their mind to think about scratched woodwork or piddle on the carpet. They will put more scrutiny in viewing your home.
- Your pet may be injured – yes….not everyone grows up with respect for animals and people may poke or jab at your pet even in their kennels.
- If your pet hurts anyone for any reason in your home you are liable.
I want to bring up little furry critters like guinea pigs and also reptiles. If I saw a snake in a cage in a bedroom I’d be out of there SO FAST!! Have a friend or family member babysit little critters and reptiles while your house is for sale.
And let’s address odor. Unfortunately almost all pets can leave some kind of odor. Be aware of that and take some precautions with additional bathing and opening windows when possible to air out the house.
It is a pain when selling your home with pets (and kids which was a different blog post “Selling Your Home When You Have Young Children”), there just isn’t any way to get around it. When I sold my home I made arrangements that I needed a four hour notice of any showings so I could get home, get my Saint Bernards in the truck along with their beds, toys and bowls; wipe down all doggy slobbers and do a quick vacuum. The feedback I received was “I can’t believe there is a pet in this house.” Perfect! And little did they know it was two Saints totaling almost 400 pounds!
At least it was before I had three! (old photo…look how young I was!)
So give it some thought and then talk with your Realtor to see what works best for you and your pet.