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  • Writer's pictureDebi Haning

You Can Sell Your House and Keep Your Pet Happy

If you have a pet, I’m sure you consider them a big part of your family. They probably have a bed, food, food bowls, toys, treats and often more than one of each. Although it seems that people are becoming more “pet friendly” and our pets are welcome in more places than before that is often not the case with homebuyers. Potential homebuyers may not feel the same as you. There are reports of pets actually being an asset to home sales making certain buyers feel comfortable and others that cause them to look elsewhere. But when you want to sell your home, receive top dollar and attract the most buyers you may consider a few changes. Here are a few thoughts about selling your home with pets to receive the most offers as well as keep- ing your pets comfortable.

Talk With Your Pets Veterinarian Your pet is accustomed to a certain lifestyle and changes in routine can stress your pet. Groups of strangers wandering through your home could make them anxious causing them to display actions that are uncommon. Talk with your veterinarian and come up with a plan during the sale of your home, to fit your pets specific needs.

Send Your Pet on a Mini Vacation If you are unable to remove your pet during showings you may consider a pet vacation, taking them to stay a friends home or a doggie hotel. If your pet is not home when the buyers arrive, they have the freedom to comfortably look around and get a good feel for your home. I have shown homes to buyers where the homeowners have locked the large barking dog in a bedroom and you felt that in any minute the dog would come tearing through the door to attack. Or one with a very sweet kitten that became the center of attention to the buyers and they failed to really take a good look at the home leaving the home and only remembering the kitten.

Repair Any Damages, Pet Stains or Odors Even the most well behaved pet can have an occassional accident or cause damage to carpet, furniture or even wood doors and trim. Take a good look at your home and hire a professional if necessary to remove any sign of a pet in the home. People want to purchase your home - not your problems, and to them a pet can be a big source of those problems. If necessary, ask a good friend to come over to help you find some of the damage or odors you no longer notice.

If The Pet Must Remain Make Things Tidy In my home my dog has 4 dog beds. One on every level and a fourth on the patio. There is no need to tell everyone that you have a spoiled dog. You can leave one bed neatly placed in the corner of his/her favorite room and remove all the others. Place new, clean dog bowls on a pad in a spot that is out of the way and one or two toys that will be picked up before every showing. A basket with the toys can look nice and neat and show everyone that the home is well cared for.

Don’t Forget the Yard Clean up any messes, replace damaged sod and other repairs as needed. Most dog owners give their pets free reign over the yard. This is great for the dog but not always great when sell- ing a home. Be sure you don’t neglect the yard when sprucing up to sell your home.

Think About Pet Liability You can be held liable if your pet hurts someone while on your property. I know you don’t think your pet would hurt anyone but in an already stressful situation with strangers entering your home when you are not there, it may make a pet overly protective and it could cause an injury. You might want to check your home insurance policy and make sure it does not exclude pet coverage. Some policies will exclude certain breeds of dogs so you should talk with your agent to make sure you are covered.

Talk With You Realtor A conversation with your realtor is always the best place to start. She will have suggestions for preparing your home and can help guide you on what to do with your pet. Selling your pet friendly home doesn’t have to cause you concern. With a little preparation everything should move smoothly.



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