- Prior to listing
Repair any damage done by your pet & remove pet odors. This could be replacing or painting trim that has been scratched or chewed, replacing carpet that has been scratched or stained, or removing or replacing damaged window screens. Pay special attention to pet smells that permeate your home – you may need to clean carpets, upholstered furniture, area rugs or ducts.
- Temporary relocation.
If it is an option, ask a friend or relative to take care of your pet(s) while your home is on the market. At a minimum, this will be beneficial during the initial week marketing blitz, but it might be best if they can be hosted away from your home until they can move with you to their new home.
- Remove during showings.
If relocation isn’t an option, depending on the pet – it might be easiest to just pack up your pet and take them with you during showings & open houses. Have a “to go bag” with all of your pet’s essentials – food, water dish, toys, etc. so that when you get the call for a showing you can pack up with everything you might need quickly. Make sure pet bedding, litterboxes & cages are regularly cleaned and don’t smell.
- Erase visual signs of your pets.
Tuck the water & food dish into a cabinet, put away beds, litterboxes & toys (or at least put them in the garage during showings). Be vigilant about scooping & disposing of pet waste outside.
- Pets who need to stay during showings.
If you can’t relocate while on the market or remove for showings, then make sure you have a sign that explains the best way to interact with your pet. Warm them about barking in a kennel, doors to keep close, let people know if it is friendly or if you shouldn’t pet or touch it, let them know if it is ok to let your pet outside or if it might be hiding under a bed or in a closet. This really should be a last result as it is stressful on your pets, there is potential liability if a visitor gets hurt by a scared pet, and it distracts buyers & their agents from looking at your home.
Article Published in the Woodinville Weekly Real Estate Section. Since 2017 The Blue Team has written the bi-monthly Real Estate Column sharing their expertise in this community publications, sharing their Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling, Tips for Investors, Buying & Selling Luxury Homes, Real Estate Transitions (Including Relocation & Senior Real Estate Tips), and Equestrian Real Estate.