How To Sell A Home With Pets

Dated: 03/30/2017

Views: 690

4 Tips for Selling a Home With Pets

How to Sell a Home With Pets

We love our furry family members, and apparently so doesn’t the rest of the country. Recent surveys by the Humane Society of the United States show that approximately 79.7 million households in the U.S. own pets. Are you one of them? If so, it may take a few extra steps before selling your home, but the payoff will be well worth it. Your Mission: Eliminate any and all evidence that a pet lives in the home for open houses, showings and listing photos.

Start Outside

The inside of your home may be top of mind when trying to keep everything looking presentable for potential buyers, but don’t forget the outside! Dog owners -- you know what we’re talking about! Be sure all evidence of the dog is gone. That means picking up all dog waste (yes, even at the very back of your property line). The last thing anyone wants is a big mess on their shoes while touring your home. Also, remember to collect any dog toys, water bowls, leashes, and even consider moving an outdoor doghouse into storage temporarily.

If You Can Smell It, You Can’t Sell It

Let’s talk pet odor. There is nothing that can kill a showing faster than the smell of a cat litter box, wet dog, or pet dander. Addressing the odors from pets is essential to selling your home in the least amount of time for the most money. Masking pet odor with an air freshener, essential oils or candles is a band-aid is typically not a great solution. It’s time to call in the professionals for a deep cleaning if the pet smell is coming from carpets or furniture. If you’re unable to find a temporary spot to keep your feline when potential buyers are visiting, clean the litter box prior to a showing and dispose of the waste in an outdoor trash receptacle to manage the odor.

Hide the Evidence

Family pets leave a trail of evidence in their wake. Eliminating pet hair and dander from furnishings, upholstery and carpets before a showing or open house is key. Run the vacuum over every single surface with pet hair. Additionally, put your pet’s belongings away. That means food bowls, beds/furniture, toys and leashes. Also consider that your pet may have done damage to the home, so fixing such items is paramount. Inspect doors for scratches and, of course, carpet stains which fall into the “odor” category above. For more tips on keeping your home clean with pets, you may also enjoy these tips from Martha Stewart. (

Relocating your pet during a showing is the ideal situation. Contact a local pet boarding facility before you put your home on the market to determine if that will be a good fit for you and your pet. Or, contact a neighbor or friend/family member to see if they can keep your pet during showings when possible. If you must keep an animal in the home while potential buyers are present, be sure it’s safely confined to an area where it cannot escape or make contact with the people coming in and out of your home. A pet crate in the garage works well, or a dog run in the backyard if it still allows for the property to be viewed completely. Whatever location you choose, try to make your pet as comfortable as possible to minimize stress and anxiety.


It doesn’t hurt to double check your homeowner’s insurance policy and be sure there is adequate coverage in case of an accidental dog bite or injury while someone is touring your home. Believe it or not, this DOES happen from time to time.

Thinking about selling your home in the Knoxville, TN area? The expert staff at The Holli McCray Group is always available to answer questions you may have about getting your home ready to put on the market. Feel free to contact us directly or or find out what your home is worth today.

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