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Selling Your House When You Have a Dog: 4 Tips for Homeowners

Your pet is a cherished member of the family. He spends his days lounging indoors, cuddles up on the sofa with you, and greets your visitors with gusto. But no matter how much you love your four-legged friend’s personality, prospective home buyers might not feel the same. Make sure your dog doesn’t hurt your home-selling efforts by following these helpful tips.

1. Remove All Signs of Your Dog

As a dog owner, you may hardly notice the little signs of your pet’s presence. Whether it’s a little pet hair on the sofa, a toy left in a corner, or scratches on hardwood floors, these things become a fact of life when you have a dog. However, prospective buyers will likely notice the little details you overlook. And for people who associate indoor pets with uncleanliness, the sale may not recover.

 As you stage your home, pay special attention to pet-related damage, messes, and clutter. On top of repairing pet damage, you should clean pet waste out of the yard, remove pet hair from furniture, and stash all toys, food dishes, pet beds, and other signs of your pet’s presence before each showing.

2. Eliminate Pet Odors

People who don’t own dogs always seem to know when a home contains one. Keep unpleasant pet odors from sabotaging your home sale by having rugs and furniture professionally cleaned and laundering your linens and curtains. If an odor is strong and enzyme cleaners won’t remove it, you may need to replace the soiled item entirely.

When a showing is scheduled, make an extra effort to make your home smell fresh, but avoid relying on chemical air fresheners that could irritate sensitive individuals. Instead, opt for clean, simple scents like orange, jasmine, or cedar, and use them judiciously.

3. Keep Your Dog Away During Showings

Having a pet in the home makes showings more complicated. Since visitors want to see every part of your home, shutting the dog in a spare room or the backyard isn’t an option. If your dog is a barker, he could disrupt the showing. And no matter how well-behaved your dog is, letting him roam free simply isn’t an option. People could have allergies or be afraid of dogs, and people wandering in and out create opportunities for your pet to escape.

Instead of compromising the sale of your home, make arrangements for your dog to be elsewhere during showings. If it’s a quick viewing and you have the spare time, a long walk around the neighborhood could keep your pup out of the realtor’s hair for long enough. You can take the opportunity to check out local dog-friendly businesses like Molly Malones for a bite to eat, Iroquois Park or the Louisville Riverwalk to stretch your legs, or The Comfy Cow to grab a frozen treat for you and your pup. However, if you have a long day of house showings, sending your pooch to doggy daycare is a better choice.

4. Board Your Dog During the Move

Keeping your dog out of the house on moving day isn’t just for the movers’ sake — although they’ll certainly appreciate not being barked at or tripping over a dog. Boarding your dog or hiring a pet sitter during the busiest part of the move also spares him the stress of seeing you pack up your home and ensures he isn’t let outside unsupervised. Another perk? When your professional movers can navigate your home freely, they’ll get the job done faster so you can enjoy a lower moving bill.

You may put dog ownership squarely in the “pro” column, but not everyone sees it the same way. In fact, some people believe a dog’s very presence reduces a home’s value. Help buyers see your home’s true value by keeping your pet out of the picture during the selling process.

Contributor Medina James of Dog EtiquetteImage via Unsplash. If you would like any help with your realty needs please contact us at Family Realty.

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