Sunday, February 26, 2006

Will having pets hurt our ability to sell our home?

On Friday, we celebrated adding a new member to our family. For years we have waited to adopt a dog. We have gradually moved up through the different levels of responsibility--first a goldfish, then a beta, two guinea pigs, an aquatic frog, a cat and finally a dog. Romeo is a schnoodle, a cross between a schnauzer and a poodle. Already we are in love, and the feeling is mutual. He is adorable, but more importantly, he has a huge heart.

Many of my homesellers have pets as well. I am frequently asked, "What do I need to do with my pets so that my home will sell?" The answer comes from my observation of buyers as they walk through homes. Even if they have pets of their own, they don't want their presence to be apparent in the homes that they tour. If they are not friendly towards pets, even more so.

Here is my counsel: Even though it will take a few more minutes to prepare for a showing or Open House, it pays to remove the pet bowls, bed, toys and the pet before the showing. Take your dog or cat with you if possible. Obviously this is not always possible. At the least confine a dog to its kennel or laundry area. Many cats will hide when strangers enter the home. If your cat is friendly, maybe the cat could be confined to a cage or small area. The general rule of thumb is don't make it obvious that your home includes pets. You will be glad you did!

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