5 Tips for Selling Your House if you Have Pets

Dated: October 28 2023

Views: 3572


Selling a home can be a challenging and stressful process, and it becomes even more complex when you have pets. While you love your furry or feathered friends, potential buyers may not share the same enthusiasm. Potential buyers may automatically expect fur, odors, dirt, and damage. To ensure a successful and smooth home sale, it's essential to manage the presence of pets in your home effectively. 

Here are tips for homeowners looking to sell their property while accommodating their beloved pets.

Prepare Your Home for Showings

The first step in selling your home when you have pets is to make it as welcoming as possible to potential buyers. This means decluttering, cleaning, and removing any signs of your pet's presence. 

Deep clean carpets, furniture, and any areas your pets frequent. Consider using air purifiers and pet-safe odor eliminators. Whether or not your pets have accidents inside, there's a good chance they changed the odor of your home. Pet fur, oils, and dirt get trapped in carpet and upholstery. Spray pet-specific products, such as odor eliminators with enzymes, on furniture, rugs, drapes, and carpets. Replace all your air filters too.

You might be "nose-blind" to your home's odors, so it's important to get an outsider's perspective. If you think the smell's gone (or didn't notice it in the first place), get a second opinion. Your real estate agent will be able to tell you whether any scent lingers. If it does, invest in an air purifier, a fan with a high-quality filter, or even professional cleaning services.

  • Repair pet-related damage: Fix scratches, chew marks, or any damage caused by your pets. Buyers may be deterred by signs of wear and tear.
  • Hide pet supplies: During showings, put away food and water bowls, toys, and litter boxes. Potential buyers should see your home, not your pet's belongings. 
  • Make sure that pets and pet supplies are not in any of the listing photos. Professional real estate photography can make all the difference for a listing, but your rooms will look less valuable if you forget this crucial step.


Schedule Showings Thoughtfully

When scheduling showings and open houses, consider your pet's comfort and safety. Potential buyers may not appreciate an unexpected encounter with your pet, or your pet may become stressed by the constant disruption. To manage this:

  • Plan for pet care: If possible, arrange for your pet to stay with a friend, family member, or pet daycare during showings. This will create a more inviting and peaceful environment for buyers.

  • Inform your agent: Make sure your real estate agent is aware of your pet's presence and any restrictions for showings. They can work with potential buyers to ensure a smooth experience.


Showcase a Pet-Free Space

While your pets are a cherished part of your life, potential buyers might not share the same affection. It's essential to showcase a pet-free space, demonstrating that your home is clean, well-maintained, and welcoming. Consider these tips:

  • Designate pet-free zones: Create specific areas of your home where pets are not allowed, such as the bedrooms, living room, or dining area. This helps buyers focus on the property itself.

  • Pet containment: If you can't relocate your pet during showings, consider using pet gates to restrict their access to certain rooms. Try to leave during showings, and find a place where you can always bring your pets for a couple of hours, like a dog park or a friend's house.


Highlight Pet-Friendly Features

On the flip side, some potential buyers might be pet lovers, and they'll appreciate your pet-friendly features. Be sure to highlight these in your home's listing and during showings:

  • Fenced yard: If your property has a secure backyard, mention it as a great space for pets to play safely.

  • Pet-friendly flooring: If you've installed pet-resistant flooring, let buyers know about it. This can be a significant selling point for pet owners.


Be Truthful

Finally, it's crucial to be honest and transparent about your pets when selling your home. Disclose any information about your pets' behavior, whether they are friendly or shy, and if they have any special needs. This will help potential buyers make informed decisions and ensure a smoother transition for both parties.


Selling a home with pets doesn't have to be a daunting task. By preparing your home, scheduling showings thoughtfully, showcasing pet-free spaces, highlighting pet-friendly features, and being open and honest, you can successfully sell your property while keeping your beloved pets' well-being in mind. With these tips, you'll create a positive impression on potential buyers and increase your chances of a successful home sale.

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Erica Ramus, MRE

Erica Ramus is a Schuylkill County native and a graduate of St. Clair Area High School. She earned degrees at Armand Hammer United World College of the American West (I.B.), University of Delaware Hon....

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