How to Sell your Pet-Friendly Home

dog, pets, friendly

This month, It’s A Dog’s Life welcomes Nick and Mary Burton as Guest Blogger. The Burtons, married five years, are dog-people. With 3 rescued dogs, and the recent loss of their 15-year old lab/terrier mix, they created OurBestDoggo to share dog information and help other cope with loss of a dog. Today, they share with us, tips on how dog-people who are selling their home, to best prepare their pet-friendly home for prospective buyers.

It’s time to sell your home, but there’s just one problem. Your realtor has told you to eliminate all traces of your pet. You suddenly panic. He’s such an integral part of your family that you don’t even notice his smell or when he sheds. What can you do to “erase” your pet from your home? 

Relax. These tips from the blog It’s a Dog’s Life will help you get started.

Removing All Traces of Your Pet

First, you need to begin by finding an out-of-the-way area where you can keep him and his gear during the selling process. Be sure it has good ventilation or lots of windows, like a sunroom. Store away anything you can for the time being. Redfin also suggests finding a way to remove your pet from the home during tours, just in case a potential buyer is allergic to your buddy.

Pet Damage

Now it’s time to look for any damage that obviously came from a pet. Furniture with cat-scratched legs and dog-eaten shoes are some examples. Remove those before showing your house.

Deep Cleaning

You need to do a thorough and deep cleaning. To start your deep cleaning, look for all the “hidden” things your pet leaves behind such as dander, feathers, and food pellets in the cracks of your wood floor. Rent a good steam cleaner particularly if you have any carpet stains. Keep in mind that your carpet padding can be damaged by pet pee. You may need to address that issue if you go to contract.

When cleaning, remember to vacuum, brush, or wash all linens, couches, curtains, chairs, and any other area your pet frequents. Wash all bedding as well. Stay on top of this cleaning throughout the process.

Pet Odors

You may not smell anything from your pet’s “aroma.” Find an objective friend to come over and sniff out your house. If he can smell your pet, your prospective buyers can as well. This article from U.S. News recommends you repeat this step before every showing.

If there are lingering odors, you can:


Remember to thoroughly clean any outdoor areas your pet frequents. Dogs may leave chewed up toys and droppings.

Read more tips for pet owners buying and selling homes from The Honest Kitchen.

Staging Your Home

If you had stains or damage that you could not remove or cover, staging can help. Review your staging budget to see if you can replace low-end pieces, like coffee tables, for your showing.

You can also get creative and cover chairs with fabric, or strategically decorate and move furniture over stains you cannot remove. If you have hardwood floors that a pet has scratched, a decorative carpet runner can be a nice accent.

Another idea is to focus attention on the more eye-catching aspects of your home.  For most, this will be the kitchen and that may be an area your pet avoids. If so, invest in upgrading this room to create an enticing incentive for prospective buyers.

It’s also important to remove your pet whenever you are showing your home. Lindsay Dreyer, broker-owner of City Chic Real Estate in Washington says, “Dogs make people uncomfortable, especially if their owner isn’t there. You never know how a dog will react or how people will react, so it’s best to ‘de-dog’ your home.”

Finding Another Angle

If you’re struggling to sell because of your pet after all this work, you might want to try another angle. Check out HGTV’s tips on how to position your home as being pet-friendly.

Selling a home with a pet doesn’t have to be difficult. Taking proactive measures to remove all traces for showings will go a long way to making prospective buyers happy.

Disclaimer: The presence of links to other websites do not infer endorsement nor receipt of any material compensation for such by It’s A Dogs Life Additionally, comments in the featured post are wholly those of the guest and do not necessarily imply endorsement by the Editor.


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