Household pets are often considered a part of the family, and many of us treat them as such. This means you probably have all sorts of pet accessories scattered around the house, such as toys, bowls, and beds. Your pets might even have the place to themselves when you are not home. This certainly makes your fur babies happy and comfortable, but if you are trying to sell your house, it isn’t ideal.

When your house is on the market, you want potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves living there. This is easier if the space is clean, tidy, and clutter-free. Also, keep in mind that not all people have pets or even like them. Therefore, it is important for pet owners to take a few extra steps to prepare for showings so that buyers will have a positive experience. In this post, we will provide 5 tips that will keep your pets happy and help your house stand out.

5 Ways Pet Owners Should Prepare for Showings

1.  Clean up pet hair

Step one is to make sure your house is sparkling clean. This includes sweeping and vacuuming pet hair on the floors, furniture, baseboards, and any other place your pet hangs out. Be as thorough as you can, since pet dander may cause some buyers to have an allergic reaction.

Unfortunately, having pets will increase the amount of dust in your home. If your pets go outside regularly, they are probably tracking pollen and grass indoors as well. All this cleaning will be difficult to keep up with on a daily basis, so you may want to consider using a robot vacuum and an air purifier to reduce the load. Changing your HVAC filters more often will also decrease air pollutants and curb dust buildup.

Cute cat playing with a toy


2.  Pick up toys & accessories

For step two, walk around each room and pick up any toys, bedding, or other pet accessories that you keep on the floor. Having these out during showings may distract buyers, or even cause them to trip if they are not paying attention to where they walk.

The best place to store these would be in a cabinet or closet, away from view. In general, you should try to keep the floors and walkways as clear as possible.

3.  Remove odorous items

Next, clean up any items that may have an odor. This includes litter boxes, potty pads, waste bins, and food bowls. Completely remove these from your home during showings, since unpleasant smells can be a huge turnoff for potential buyers, especially non-pet owners. In fact, you may want to air out the rooms where these items usually reside, since odors can linger.

Additionally, removing odorous items will help prevent bugs and critters from entering your home to look for food.

Crate your pet

4.  Secure your pet(s)

Step four is to secure your pet(s) during showings, or take them with you if possible. Never leave your animals out to roam freely, no matter how well-behaved they are. Unsecured pets may cause buyers to have anxiety. Also, your pets may react negatively to strangers entering their home, which could lead to dangerous situations that cause injuries, or even legal liability. In addition, leaving your pets out may put them at risk of escaping.

If you cannot take your pets with you, consider putting them in a pen or crate that does not obstruct walkways or get in the way of buyers who are looking around. You could also put them in a storage area such as a large closet that is blocked off by a removable gate. Try not to put them in a completely enclosed space, since this can stress out your pet, and buyers may open the door without knowing the pet is inside.

5.  Plan ahead

Lastly, plan ahead as much as you can. Showings may occur without a lot of advanced notice, so it is a good idea to do your cleaning and tidying up whenever you can.

If you leave your pet at home all day while you work, get him or her safely secured and situated before you leave in the morning. You may even want to consider placing them in a pet daycare facility so that they are not cooped up for long hours, especially if they are not used to that.

Next Steps

If you are thinking about selling your house, start by talking with a local real estate professional. Our agents here at Sheridan Solomon and Associates know the area and the market very well, and they can help you succeed through every step of the selling process. This includes house preparation, pricing, showings, negotiations, and more.

Here’s what to expect:

As soon as your house hits the market, your real estate agent will begin marketing it and trying to attract as many potential buyers as possible. Those who are interested will then schedule a time to tour your house, and hopefully, there will be multiple appointments per day. Buyers often decide whether to make an offer after seeing the house in person, which is why preparation is so important.

Remember, there are many different factors that affect how well your home does on the market, so these tips alone will not guarantee a higher price or faster sale. However, taking the time to do this extra preparation will make your house more appealing to any potential buyers who visit. It will also reduce stress for everyone involved.

For more tips on how to prepare your house for the market, read our blog post, 5 Steps to Take Before Listing Your Home for Sale. To get connected with one of agents, give us a call at (478) 746-2000 or reach out on our website,