Our pets help make a house a home. Many people consider them a part of the family. But pets present special challenges when selling a home.

Pets can add odors to a home or create the impression a house is dirty. That’s why it’s important to take some steps before showing your home to a prospective buyer.

Deep clean: This is job one. Having your carpets cleaned helps get rid of smells you may be used to because you live with them every day. Trust me, there ARE smells even if you don’t notice them. Wash drapes for the same reason. Minor scratches on the wall can be rubbed away with a Magic Eraser. Give your pet beds a good deodorizing wash.

Hair patrol: Swiffer, Swiffer, Swiller! Rolling tumbleweeds of hair and fur aren’t a good look on a home for sale. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for hair to collect at the foot of chairs. on baseboards, or in the corners of a room. Since showings can pop up at any time, you’ll want to sweep regularly so that you are prepared.

Poop patrol: If your pet has a litter box, empty it more than usual. If your dog uses the backyard to go to the bathroom then make sure you pick up after him/her every time. A potential homeowner won’t appreciate a surprise on the bottom of their shoe while they are checking out the backyard. Do NOT dispose of the waste inside the house. 

Keep your pet clean: Not just their stuff. but them. Bathe them weekly. Hopefully, for them and you, your house will sell quickly and this ultra-clean routine won’t have to last long. 

Put away the dog stuff: You don’t leave out your personal belongings during a showing so don’t leave out theirs. Would-be homeowners will have a hard time picturing themselves relaxing in your home when they are stepping over pet toys and looking at an old pet bed in the corner of your living room. Yes, that includes their pet dishes taking up space in the kitchen.

Put the pets away: Ideally, you can remove the pet from the home before each showing. No doubt your little furry bundle is perfectly precious but not everyone is a pet person. Dogs scare some people so even leaving them in the backyard is a bad idea. Sticking a cat in a room or a cage can be distracting for people too. Buyers should be free to roam around the property and not be surprised by an animal on-premises. If that creates a challenge for you or is difficult to do on short notice, you may want to talk to your real estate agent about scheduling showings only at certain times.

Taking steps to remove signs of a pet before buyers see it will help ensure your home is in the best possible shape to show. A quicker sale is good news for the whole family, even the 4-legged members who will soon have a new home to explore.