Pets in a Home While Selling – What to do?

17 02 2011

There’s not fantastic answer here.  My two dogs are my babies, so I understand the difficulty in knowing what is best for your family while selling your home.

My opinion?  Everyone is different.  Every pet is different.  Every buyer’s tolerance level is different.

If you can stomach it, it’s probably best to keep Fido with family/friends while your home is on the market to open the possibility of the % of buyers who wouldn’t otherwise buy your home.  Maybe they are deathly afraid of your pet (as silly as that seems to you) so they don’t finish looking at your home….maybe that fear leads to negative feelings towards your home.  Maybe they have an allergy to pets so they don’t finish looking once they spot the dishes for your babies.

The above conversation is true if you have s “normal” pet…i.e. a dog or cat.  If you have an exotic pet such as a rodent or reptile (or anything else, for that matter) then DEFINITELY get that out of the house.  Even if you love him/her & you’re had him/her for years & ‘none of your friends mind’ – I promise…the buyers will.  In fact, you’ll be known as the “snake pit house” or something else behind your back.  Even a lot of Realtors will probably struggle with not referring to your home that way.  It’s just an easy way to jog a buyer’s memory if they can’t remember the other details about it….”Remember?  The gerbil house?” “OH YEAH! No way…it smelled funny in there”.  You can see how that could end.

Here are the basic idea for you to keep in mind as a seller; Am I more focused on maximizing my money when I sell, or the comfort of my pet?  It’s ok if the answer if your pets comfort, but you need to have that conversation with your Realtor & find out how that may adversely affect the value of your home.  It’s true….super clean, super cute, well decorated homes sell better/more money/faster than homes that may offer the same or better amenities that aren’t as perfect/don’t smell as great/have unusual distinguishing personal items.

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