I love dogs and cats. I love the relationship between pets and their owners. The problem is, not everyone feels this way about dogs, cats, lizards, birds, etc.
People viewing homes may have allergies, they may have trauma from a dog bite as a child or they may just not be pet people. They are not mean, uncaring people they just were not raised with animals and so they do not want to see them in homes they are going to buy. The question becomes, what to do with Fido.
When listing a pet lovers home the first question the homeowner asks is what do you with the the pet. This is part of their family. They are asking what to do with part of their family.
This pet or family member should not be seen, heard or smelled while the home is being shown to potential buyers. This is because the seller’s home has now become a product to sell and less distractions mean a better chance of having that perfect buyer fall in love with your home.
The expression in the real estate business is that, “If it smells it won’t sell.” It could be ruled out if there is barking dog that keeps the people from being able to tour the entire home. It could be ruled out if there is a smelly kitty litter room. It could be ruled out if there are bird feathers floating in the air.
Pets distract the buyer from seeing the great features of the home. I have seen buyers become agitated and asked to leave a property as soon as possible due to pets.
There is also the matter of liability. The sweetest dog in the world may become not so sweet when his or her territory is invaded by strangers. This is a great reaction when someone is breaking into your home but not so great when an agent is bringing buyers through. Many an agent has war wounds from showing a home when pets were only doing their job in protecting the property.
The best thing you can do is remove the animals during showings. If this is not possible confine your pet during the showing time. I know how hard it is to not allow your pet the run of the house but it is hard to show a home when you are concerned about the animals.
The agent showing your home should be showing the features and not worried about the animals or where they are. When you show a home with pets your fear as an agent is that the animal will get out of the home. It has happened, and I have had agents call me in tears because there is a runaway animal.
Another problem with pets is odors. You have to make sure that your kitty litter is kept clean at all times. Remove or have kitty litter where it is not the first thing you see or smell. If you have a dog make sure there are no doggy odors in your home. Both of these can kill a deal. People are afraid odors will remain after animals are gone. So remember, “If you can smell it you cannot sell it.”
A few ideas that might help during this time. Crate the animals during the showing. This works unless your dog is a barker. Go for a walk during the showing time. Put the animals in the car and go for a ride. Many a seller has been seen riding through Peachtree Corners with dogs and cats with their noses pressed against car windows.
Buy a product that will will help remove the cat odor from the home. You can find these at pet stores.
Your agent will work with you on an acceptable showing plan with animals. We know it is hard to have a life and have your home on the market but with the right price and the right condition it should be temporary.
I can't talk about pets without sharing this true story told by one of my first trainers. The potential home buyer toured the home then left. Later the buyers agent came back with a full price offer with only one stipulation, the dog stays with the house. Yes, the buyer got the house and the dog. Unknown by the buyer is that the seller was not going to be able to take the dog with him and had been looking for a good home for the pet.
Now that's a dog that knows how to behave when strangers come by.
This week there are three beautiful homes in Peachtree Corners having open houses. See below or go to PeachtreeCorners.com
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