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Selling a home is an exciting yet challenging task, especially when you’re a pet owner. While our furry friends are beloved family members, they can sometimes become the unintended stars of the show during home viewings. This is precisely what happened to Angela, whose attempt to create a welcoming atmosphere by including her pets turned into a chaotic pet parade. Let’s explore Angela’s story and uncover some valuable lessons for pet owners preparing their homes for sale.

Angela’s Pet Parade

A Well-Intentioned Plan

Angela thought that having her pets around during showings would make her home feel warm and inviting. She believed that potential buyers would appreciate the friendly atmosphere created by her three dogs, four cats, and a parrot. Unfortunately, her plan didn’t go as expected.

During the home showings, her dogs excitedly ran around, jumping on visitors and licking their faces. One cat decided to lounge on a potential buyer’s lap, while the parrot squawked loudly, adding to the chaos. The potential buyers were overwhelmed by the lively scene, focusing more on avoiding the pets than on appreciating the home’s features.

The Challenges Pets Present During Home Showings

Distractions Galore

Pets, no matter how well-behaved, can be distracting during home showings. Their presence can prevent buyers from focusing on the home itself, which is the main purpose of the visit.

Allergy Concerns

Some potential buyers may have allergies or phobias related to pets. The presence of animals can deter these buyers from considering your home, even if it meets all their other criteria.

Cleanliness and Odor Issues

Pets can contribute to odors and messes that are not always noticeable to the homeowner but can be a turn-off for potential buyers. Even a faint smell of pets can impact a buyer’s perception of the home’s cleanliness.

Preparing Your Home for Showings as a Pet Owner

1. Temporarily Relocate Pets

If possible, relocate your pets during showings. Arrange for them to stay with a friend, family member, or at a pet boarding facility. This allows potential buyers to tour the home without distractions or concerns.

2. Clean Thoroughly

Before each showing, thoroughly clean your home to eliminate pet odors and hair. Vacuum carpets, furniture, and pet areas. Use air fresheners or purifiers to ensure the home smells fresh.

3. Remove Pet Items

Store pet toys, bowls, beds, and litter boxes out of sight during showings. This helps create a neutral environment that allows buyers to envision their own belongings in the space.

4. Repair Pet Damage

Address any damage caused by pets, such as scratched doors, chewed baseboards, or stained carpets. Making these repairs can significantly improve the home’s appearance and appeal.

5. Stage with Care

If your pets have created any specific areas in the home (like a dedicated pet corner), consider how these areas are presented. They should be clean and organized, showcasing how the space can be used rather than highlighting the pets.

6. Inform Your Agent

Let your real estate agent know you have pets. They can help manage showings and advise potential buyers accordingly. They can also provide specific tips for preparing your home to be more appealing to buyers.

Highlighting Pet-Friendly Features

1. Emphasize Outdoor Spaces

If your home has a pet-friendly yard, such as a fenced-in area or a pet run, highlight these features in your listing. Pet owners will appreciate these amenities.

2. Mention Nearby Pet Services

Include information about nearby pet parks, grooming services, and veterinary clinics in your listing materials. This can attract pet-owning buyers who will value these conveniences.

3. Showcase Flexibility

Show how certain spaces in your home can be adapted for pets. For example, a spare room that could be used as a home office or a pet play area. This demonstrates the versatility of your home’s layout.

Angela’s experience with her pet parade serves as a humorous yet instructive example of the potential pitfalls of including pets in home showings. While pets are beloved family members, their presence during showings can be distracting and deter potential buyers. By temporarily relocating pets, thoroughly cleaning your home, and highlighting pet-friendly features, you can create a more welcoming and appealing environment for all potential buyers.

For more tips on selling your home as a pet owner, contact a trusted real estate agent. They can provide expert advice and strategies to ensure your home shines during every showing, helping you achieve a successful sale.