Pet Ownership Has the Foremost Impact When Selling Your Home 

March 24, 2019

When you own pets and have your home for sale, you face two issues:

  • Keeping the house hair and odor free
  • Keeping your pets safe

When you live with pets, you may not even notice the odor – but those without pets will. If you aren’t sure about your house, ask a “pet less” friend to come by and give it the sniff test.

If you do need to tackle the odors, your first task should be to shampoo your carpets and any furniture the pets use. Wash the pets’ bedding and wash your own bedspreads if the pets sleep there.

If you have a cat, make sure the litter box is cleaned and washed every day and that cat food dishes are washed after each meal. That canned cat food is pretty smelly!

As for pet hair – vacuum every day. If needed, sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the carpets and furniture to also remove any new pet odors.

Now – keep those beloved pets safe.

The best course of action is to take them with you when you leave the house during showings.

But – what if you work all day and agents have access via a lock box?

In that case, pets should be kenneled or taken to a pet sitter during the day. Whatever you do, don’t leave them alone in the house. Your pets won’t like being contained, but it’s better for them to be unhappy for a few hours than to be lost or run over by a car.

And that can happen. Many are the horror stories of agents arriving at a home, opening the door, and seeing the cat or dog shootout between their feet. Then the showing is disrupted while the agent tries to recapture the critter and get it back into the house.

This is not only unfair to the agents, it’s dangerous for the pets. My cat or dog would not come to a stranger – would yours?

In addition to pet safety, consider your own liability. A friend of mine once had a listing with an “Attack Cat” who shredded her ankle when she had to keep him from going after the people looking at the home.

As for dogs – even the friendliest can become protective and aggressive when strangers enter your home without your presence. Protecting you and your home is, after all, their job.

Putting Fluffy or Fido in a bathroom or laundry room with a “Do not open” sign on the door won’t do either. For one thing, people viewing your home with an eye toward purchase want to see every room. Secondly, a sign saying “Do not open” is almost like a challenge. At least some visitors will be compelled to open that door!

So, plan ahead. When your home is for sale, spend a few dollars on kennel cages or pet day care, or take your pets with you when you leave during showings of your home.


Posted by SEESAN who is a real estate Sales Associate at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Realtors-Bear, DE office. As a Realtor, he is passionate about helping others to market their homes as well as to find homes for them. You can find more about him at  and click here to get in touch with him or call Cell 206 715 1642,  for free consultation.