Selling your home as a pet owner? Here’s how to ‘stage’ your home and ensure that having pets is a positive experience for potential home buyers.
If you’re a pet owner selling your home, it’s important to help any prospective buyers feel as comfortable as possible around your property, especially when it comes to your pets. This is especially true if have any rare or exotic animals or creatures that are perceived as dangerous or threatening-and yes-this includes certain dog breeds.
As an animal lover and owner, your default position might be to attempt to convince agents and buyers that your home is safe and that they don’t need to worry. However keep in mind that it’s ineffective trying to convince a potential homebuyer that they should feel the same way you do about your pets; after all the goal is to sell your home! A more productive way to handle this issue is to ensure people who visit your home feel comfortable. Remember, potential home buyers must feel comfortable and safe in your home in order to become willing to buy your home.
When the most popular pets like dogs, birds or cats are part of your ‘family’, usually you can take them with you and leave during home showings. If for some reason that isn’t an option then place them in a small spare room with a photo of the room taped to the door so it doesn’t need to be opened, allowing you to momentarily keep your pets safely (and quietly) out of the way. If you have a ‘barky’ dog then it’s far better to simply remove him during showings. Loud or aggressive animals are distracting! You always want buyers to experience your home as quiet and calming, helping them to feel as ‘at ease’ in your home as possible.
Things can be a bit more complicated when you live with any exotic animals, particularly if they are hosted in spaces like tanks, cages or fenced areas, that are difficult or impossible to relocate around your house. If for some particular reason isolating your pet into a room (good) or taking them out of the house (best) is not an option for you, you must make sure that every person who visits your property is aware of the presence of unusual animals or critters, preparing them for exactly what to expect. A plan of action, relayed to everyone in advance, prevents surprises and complications that could easily get in the way of the buyer’s positive experience.
An added benefit is that when you notify the agent and their clients ahead of time, this enhances your transparency and trustworthiness, which are key values when you’re offering your home for sale.
It goes without saying but we’ll say it anyway, make sure any pet odors, animal waste, litter boxes and pet fur are cleared away before every showing!
To sum it up, understanding the buyers experience while touring your home really must be a positive experience for potential homebuyers; not only because it’s the most polite and professional thing to do, but also because comfort breeds trust and trust sells homes.