Selling a Home with Pets? That’s Never an Easy Challenge

Our cats and dogs – not to mention our parakeets, iguanas and turtles – are members of our family. But when it’s time to sell a home? They can also be problems.

That’s because selling a condo or single-family home with pets can prove far more challenging when you have furry friends as part of your family.

The Chicago Tribune recently ran an interesting feature story detailing the hurdles that pets can throw up to make selling a home more difficult. It’s definitely worth a read if you are a pet owner yourself.

Here’s the gist, though: Pets sometimes leave behind odors that we get used to. But potential buyers, as they tour your condo or single-family home, will notice them immediately.

Then there’s the problem of what to do with your pets when you’re showing your home. Buyers don’t want to hear your dog barking from some shut-off room somewhere in your house. In fact, they’d probably like to tour that room that you’ve made off-limits to them.

And when it comes to cats? Buyers don’t want to see bowls of food or a dirty litterbox in the hallway. Those are turnoffs, especially for those buyers who don’t have pets of their own. You don’t want to turn off any potential buyer, so when you’re selling a home when you own pets, you’ll have to take extra steps.

That includes making sure your dogs are out of the house when buyers are touring it. It means hiding the litter box or bowls of cat food. And it definitely means giving your house a professional, deep-cleaning to remove any traces of animal fur or scent.

Ideally, you can find somewhere else for your pets to live as you sell your home. That, though, isn’t feasible for all sellers. If you can’t move your pets to a new location temporarily, make sure you do everything you can to make your critters invisible to potential buyers.