Pet Sensitivity When Buying and Selling A Home - PLUS ESG Staff & Agent Pet Photos!
How do you show your home to buyers when you have a pet? Pets are a part of the family for many home owners, and protecting Fido from running out the door when a buyer is walking through the property is of tantamount concern. Furthermore, some pets have annoying behaviors like incessant barking, or may even be aggressive and potentially harmful, so protecting the public from them is an issue. Let’s break this down from two perspectives: sensitivity to the pets and sensitivity to the buyers.
Pet sensitivity means recognizing that every pet has a personality just like humans do. Some are cautious and tentative; others are incredibly impulsive and will take advantage of every opportunity to run out the front door. Knowing your pet’s personality, and how best to contain it, is the first step to being successful in getting buyers to come through without incident. If your pet is large and/or loud, the best choice is usually to have the pet contained – either on site or off site – for any showing appointments. If you have pets who are in the property but tend to stay to themselves and not leave the house, maybe you don’t have to worry about them.
From the other perspective, buyers are sensitive to certain kinds of pets, especially those that induce allergic reactions, are excessively noisy or smelly, or even a staring pet can make some potential buyers uncomfortable. Avoiding any kind of pet interaction is the ideal scenario for buyers as they assess your home. If they aren’t fans of your pets for whatever reason, they are likely to make a negative association with your property and avoid returning.
Pets are like children; they leave messes behind, they don’t always do their dishes, and they need training to act appropriately around others. Worst case scenario, the animal bites a visitor that it perceives as a trespasser. You, the owner, are liable for that injury. Now, not only have you lost a potential buyer, but you could have a bigger problem on your hands. It’s just not worth the risk to allow buyer-pet interactions.
Assuming that you, as a buyer, are going to look at a house where there are pets, recognize that there are ways to protect yourself by requesting that pets be contained in advance. If you get to a door, and it’s clear there’s a dog behind it, leave the door shut. Avoid animal interactions whenever possible.
Now that we’ve discussed sensitivity to the pets and to the buyers, let’s consider the preparation of the house itself because of smells, fur remnants, or other allergens that linger even when your pet isn’t home. Take the time to clean your rugs, neutralize your carpet, and consider routine preparation of your home prior to leaving every morning. It may be a sacrifice to think about boarding your dog for the first few weeks of being on the market, but truly, it is usually better for the dog, better for any visitors, and better for you as a homeowner trying to sell.
Do you have a pet of your own that you consider part of the family? Let us know about them in the comments.
Here are some of the very special dog (and cat) members of the Eric Stewart Group family! Can you figure out which pet belongs to which of our agents/staff? Check out our Facebook & Instagram for a contest!
For more information on how to sell your home for top dollar, download the Market Ready Guide below or click here to listen to any of our radio shows where we discuss matters like these.
About Eric Stewart
Eric Stewart started his real estate career in 1987 and each year he and his group sell over 150 homes in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The Eric Stewart Group has completed more than 3,000 real estate transactions, placing Eric in the top 1% of Realtors® in the nation. With a comprehensive approach to marketing and a knack for negotiation, the Eric Stewart Group has built a reputation of trust and tireless persistence throughout the area.