How to Sell a House Where Pets Live


Black & Tan Miniature Dachshund
Black & Tan Miniature Dachshund

“How to sell a house where pets live?” is a very common question from the homeowner.

Homeowner has to prepare house for sale. But there is even more work involved when that homeowner has a pet that lives in the house.

But it is not imposible. When homeowner decides to sell a house, he just  needs to do some serious housecleaning and repair work.

Where does the pet go?

First of all, homeowner has to decide what is going to happen with a pet during a period of time when house is on the market. The best and easiest for all involved would be to see if family member or friend can take care of the dog during this period of time. If so, then take your dog with all the belongings like food bowls, toys and blankets to mom’s house. It is easier to show and sell your home (and keep it clean), if pets are not present. If family member or friend can not help by watching dog while the home is for sale, then there are other things homewoner can do at least to have a dog away from the house when people are over. Homeowner can take pet to the dogcare every single day. Board pet at a kennel. Take them to work for the day. Maybe get a dogsitter, who can take a dog for a walk before the showing. Or even ask a neighbors, if they can take the dog for a walk around the neighborhood during a home showing.

At the very least, keep pet in a crate. Put a note with the crate, asking that people would not touch the dog, put fingers inside the crate, etc. Pet is an animal. Only by seeing strange people at the house, his only instinct can be to protect the house, so he might bite by accident.

So, by having a dog at the house during the showings is also a liability for the homeowner.

It is  not acceptable to leave a free wandering pet in the house for real estate showings. Pet can escape the house during the showing, or even worse if the pet bites the stranger in the house. There is big liability for the homewoner if the pets bites.

Remove or hide beds, toys, blankets, etc.

The homeowner should hide all signs of pets in the house. If the homeowner has sent pets to stay with the family member during the home sale, then it is very simple just send all pet’s favorite items with them and and put away the rest.

If the homeowner removing the pets only for showings, then hide all items during that time.

Cat litter boxes is a problem by itself The best option is to take the box outside. If homeowner can not do that, so just cover and hide it really good. But do not hide it in the closet.

Get rid of pet odor smell.

If pets damaged the carper or flooring with their urine, the homeowne should get it  professionally cleaned. A strong odor is one of the top reasons for the buyer to pass on a home. Sometimes carpet or flooring needs to be replaced, if stains and odors are really bad.

If the pet odor at the house is really strong, the homebuyer will likely deduct the cost of carpet replacement offer as a result.

Homeowner should not use air fresheners to hide the odors, because people with allergies will react.

The homeowner should clean the house and vacuum daily to get rid of pet hair and odor.

Repair any damage.

A lot of pets destroy something in the house, which can be a carpet, hardwood floor, furniture, walls, or doors. All of this damage should be repaired before putting the house for sales.

Even if the cat damages the furniture, the homeowner should replace it. Because it can give the impression to the homebuyer that the owner doesn’t care about the furniture or the home itself.

If the homeowner makes the repairs and fixes the damages, it will be well worth it once the offer to buy the home comes in from a buyer.

Clean the yard.

The homeowner should pick up any messes in the backyard, and have any sod replaced and damage repaired.