Smiling woman in front of "For Sale" sign, kneeling next to golden retriever

Pets are an integral part of many American households, with reporting that over two-thirds of US households – equating to 85 million families – include one or more pets. Given these statistics, it might seem that homebuyers touring your house would likely be comfortable with your pets. However, it’s important to consider how your pets might behave or react when your home is shown to potential buyers.

Pets, being territorial by nature, often react to strangers entering their homes. This reaction can range from aggression or fear to curiosity. Even if you believe you know your pet’s behavior, leaving them unsupervised during a showing could be a risk not worth taking. Keep reading to get tips on how to show your home when you have pets and contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices at (310) 373-0021 if you need help selling your home.

Pets as a Distraction and Potential Risk

An unattended pet can pose a distraction, and potentially even a threat, to potential buyers regardless of their affinity for animals. Unexpected actions, such as a cat leaping onto a buyer’s shoulder or a dog growling and barking, can lead to unsettling experiences for visitors. While most pets are harmless, their behavior can become unpredictable in the absence of their owners, especially when their territory is invaded by strangers.

Exotic pets such as snakes, iguanas, or tarantulas could be alarming for certain buyers. Your comfort with your unique pet may not be shared by potential buyers, and they should not be expected to accommodate your pet’s behavior while evaluating your home. Additionally, they should not bear the responsibility of preventing pets from escaping the house.

Professional Considerations and Pet Courtesy

To cater to potential buyers with allergies or aversions to animals, ensure your real estate professional notes the presence of pets in the property listing. This allows potential buyers to prepare accordingly and minimizes the chances of an unpleasant surprise during their visit.

Prioritizing Pet Wellbeing

Remember to consider your pets’ comfort as well. Whenever possible, take your pets with you when leaving the house for showings, leave them with trusted friends or family, or employ reputable pet care services. If these options are unavailable, confine your pets to a single room and inform potential buyers of this arrangement.

Maintaining a Pet-Free Appearance

Despite the challenges, it’s crucial to minimize the signs and odors related to pet ownership. Regularly clean your yard from pet waste, treat any carpet stains promptly, and ensure pet bedding is clean and odor-free. Regular maintenance of litter boxes, bird cages, and aquariums is also key to presenting a sparkling clean and fresh-smelling home.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that your home appeals to a broad range of potential buyers, regardless of their preferences or attitudes towards pets.