Many homeowners have pets! Whether it be dogs, cats, fish, exotic birds or reptiles people enjoy their pets. They are a wonderful addition to a family. Families enjoy taking the dog for daily walks and they can help enhance exercise for a homeowner.
If you are selling a home with pets, you may want to consider boarding the pets, and there are many reasons why to do so. When a buyer walks into the home, if the first thing they notice is odors as a result of pets, then that can be an immediate turn-off. Buyers will remember the house that “smelled” or had obvious signs of pets. The following are reasons that you may want to consider boarding your pets during the listing period.
Relocating a pet may or may not be something a homeowner is willing to do, but in the long run, it will be easier. It will be easier to keep the house clean if your pets are not present when buyers arrive. If you have a family member or friend that you are are able to leave the animal with, this will allow you to remove signs that a pet resides in the home. Obvious signs that a pet lives in the house can significantly reduce a home’s value. Relocating a pet may be a seller inconvenience, however, in the long run, will result in more showings and ultimately a quicker sale.
When a home is listed for sale, then one of the items to be discussed is the showing instructions for the home. If there are pets in place, the agent may write in the MLS, “Don’t Let the Cats Out” or “Don’t Let the Dogs Out”. This puts the burden of responsibility on the showing agent when they arrive to view a home. And the focus will be the concern for the pets. This verbiage also may dissuade some buyers or agents from wanting to view the home because they do not want the responsibility or the risk.
Showing instructions which put the burden of responsibility on the buyer’s agent may deter showings, and subsequently, result in a poor first impression of the home.
Everyone loves Fido, right? Not necessarily! If you leave your dog or cat unattended when potential buyers come to view the home, there may be consequences. Dogs or cats can (and should) be crated. If you absolutely cannot board your pet due to costs, or there are no family members who can keep them for you, then crate them. Crates are not unkind, and once dogs learn that is their bed, they willingly go in.
Leaving a pet out or unattended during showings can be an enormous liability. Pets don’t always behave the same when someone walks in the house they don’t know. What if someone walks in, and the pet suddenly has aggressive tendencies or even bites. Dogs are territorial and they know the home is their domain. A dog who bites is only protecting his home. It is unfair to the dog to put them in this situation.
If there are signs of aggression, take the dog out. Otherwise, if the dog does bite, then you are risking a lawsuit, impounding the dog or even potential loss of the dog. It is risky, do not take the chance!
There are many potential buyers who might have allergies to either dog or cat dander. Dander is the skin cells which are sloughed off and replaced with new cells. Even vacuuming and cleaning thoroughly, there is the possibility that a buyer will have an immediate allergy when they walk in the home. The dander is generally what causes allergies.
Symptoms of allergies may include itchy and watery eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy throat, coughing, wheezing, asthma-like symptoms, hives or even a rash.
If someone has a tremendous allergy attack when they walk in the home, they will be high tailing it out of there. And there goes another potential buyer!
Buyers Might Have Fear
Dogs, cats and even birds can “smell” fear. They know when you are afraid and this can result in unpredictable behavior from the pet. If a bird is in a cage, it is unlikely it will get out, however, if the buyer is bringing along their small children and they put their finger in a cage, this can result in a very painful and serious injury.
Dogs may be unpredictable when strangers are entering the home, and they are just protecting their own environment. Cats can be territorial too, or skittish. this behavior can be off-putting for buyers as they are not going to be looking at the house, they are going to be trying to leave!
It is unfair of a homeowner to put the responsibility of ensuring their animals are safe during showings. Consider the showing agent doesn’t even like animals, and now it is their responsibility to care for the pet. You are also taking the risk that the showing agent will dissuade the buyer from seeing the home because of these showing instructions!
I have seen this over and over again! Showing instructions for the buyer’s agent, do not let the dogs out, or instruct a showing agent not to “let the cat out”. So now, when you are showing a home, the entire time all parties have a concern about a cat not getting out on the balcony or even out the front door. And what if it does get out?
I have had a buyer walk out of a house when there was a cat lounging on the bed.
Lastly, it is unfair to the animal itself! You are putting the animal in a situation that is unfamiliar which may result in undesirable behavior. The animal will most likely be afraid and demonstrate behavior accordingly.
It just is NOT a good idea to have pets in the home when selling it. You are taking the chance that buyers are not even going to come and see it because they don’t want to deal with the pets. Buyers are looking at homes, not taking care of someone else’s animals. There is huge liability with having pets present during showings. And assuming that your friendly dog Harry loves everyone . . . .not necessarily. Don’t take the chance, plan ahead and find a place to take the dog or cat out of the house so the buyers can look at the house without having to look over their shoulder!
Take care of your pet and ensure it is safe while you are selling your home.
Find Other Valuable Resources for “5 Reasons Why you Should Board your Pets When Selling!” from Real Estate Professionals Across the Country. Please check out the articles below, and please share across Social Media if you enjoyed the articles.
Check out this article about pet odors and how it can deter a home sale written by Kyle Hiscock. He discusses deep cleaning, proper ventilation and replacing what cannot be cleaned.
Petra Norris has shared a post about tips for selling a home with pets. She also concurs to relocate the pets during the home selling process to facilitate the sell.
Bill Gassett discusses 7 tips for selling a home with pets. He shares information about temporarily relocating pets if possible during selling.
You will find additional information and pro tips for selling with pets from Michelle Gibson. She shares checklists to ensure that your home will be in tip-top condition to sell.
About the Author
The above real estate article “5 Reasons Why you Should Board your Pets When Selling!” was written by Sharon Paxson of Newport Beach Real Estate. With experience since 2005 representing sellers, buyers, and landlords with their real estate transactions, we welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise and guide you through the home buying or selling process.
We service the following Orange County CA areas: Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Orange, Santa Ana, Sunset Beach, Tustin and more! If you are considering selling your home, we welcome the opportunity to work with you and list your home with a top Newport Beach CA Realtor.