by
On Aug 1, 2013
Listed in Selling
Potential buyers will just love charming Mr. Whiskers.  
He’s so fluffy, adorable, and friendly. He could never make a potential buyer uncomfortable!
Right?

  We hate to burst your bubble…but you may be living in Real Estate La La Land if you think that your pet isn’t having an effect on how well your house is showing. You want buyers to be able to envision themselves in the space; which is why your Realtor® likely suggested that you take down family pictures and stage your home to feel neutral and inviting. You do not want anything to distract a potential buyer- including a pet.

Why Mr. Whiskers isn’t helping your home sell:

  • Not all people are animal lovers, and even those that are may not be interested in having your pet stalk them around the house or enjoy listening to it bark through the entire showing. Some people have a fear of certain animals and, rational or irrational, it will effect how they feel while looking at your house.
  • Pets are unpredictable- especially when strangers are roaming around their territory and you’re not around. A nervous pet can lead to unpleasant surprises and unfortunate experiences. If potential buyers may be uncomfortable because of your pet, and your pet may be uncomfortable because of potential buyers, well then maybe you should remove the pet from the equation.
  • Pets in the home can raise questions about home maintenance and cleanliness. Are there unseen carpet stains or lingering odors? Did Fido leave chew marks on the door frames or cupboards? We completely understand that many pets are well trained, well behaved, and that their owners maintain their homes properly- but your buyers do not know if you fit into that group. 

The Solution:
  Talk to your REALTOR and be realistic about your options. If at all possible, take your pets for a walk or somehow remove them from the home during all showings. If that is not an option, put Fluffy in her crate and inform the showing agent that there is a pet in the home. It is better give a REALTOR warning than to have them be surprised.

  Take steps to remove both physical and aromatic evidence of your four-legged friend.  Use a dry cleaning powder to remove odors from carpet, regularly air-out your home, and wash your pet’s bed. Also consider having your pet professionally groomed. Just one good scrubbing can eliminate excess hair and smell. Remember that you may not notice the pet odor, but a non-pet owner will pick up on it instantly!
  
Finally, remove toys, beds, food dishes, and other pet possessions to help the buyer see your home and not your pet. Keep your buyers focused on the right thing- your house!

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