10 Top Tips to Sell your House: #9 – Remove your pets

A lot of us have pets that we love, and that we consider to be members of our families. But it isn’t a good idea to have them in the house during a showing. It’s stressful for them, and they can show it.

The  animal you’re convinced is friendly and will never bite can also be quite un-friendly when you’re not there and there are strangers wandering through their house: after all, they’re territorial creatures. I can remember showing a house that had a huge angry dog locked in a crate, and he growled and shook that crate to the point that we were actually afraid of what might happen if he got out.

In that situation, crating the dog didn’t help. I think it would have been better to farm him out somewhere with friends or family. It’s inconvenient, for sure, but it’s hard to sell a house with a dog that scares the heck out of people.

Dogs can be a whole lot friendlier than that one was and still pose problems. Some buyers have serious allergies. Some dogs smell not so great. And while I’m not one of them, some people don’t really like dogs,  don’t like being jumped on by dogs, and don’t like getting  fur all over their clothing.

That goes for cats too and not just when it comes to allergies. I remember a cat in one house that hissed at us and acted like it was about to attack — believe me, we got out of that bedroom pretty quickly.

Plus, I think all realtors worry that we’re going to accidentally let someone’s pet out that shouldn’t be; I don’t even want to think about what could happen. I had a client once, a seller, who was looking after her daughter’s cat when someone let it out by mistake during a showing. It came back pregnant. It could have been worse; it might not have come back at all. Or it could have been hit by a car. Why take the chance?

If you’re trying to sell, realtors suggest that family members be out of the house during a showing; sometimes the kindest thing you can do for your pet (and your prospective buyer) is arrange for them to be somewhere else too.

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