Planning for Pets while Selling my Home

Helping busy families feel right at home.

As a fellow pet-owner, it’s sometimes hard to believe that some people simply don’t like animals, especially in their homes. When trying to sell and get top dollar for your property, it’s best to remove all signs of your furry family members. Why don’t (some) home buyers like your pet?

1. Nervousness. Pets and animals make some people very uncomfortable. Not everyone grew up with a family pet or enjoys trips to the zoo. Learn more about them through these apps for veterinarians.

2. Fear. Real and irrational.

3. Inexperience. Pets are not always predictable, especially when they are alone with strangers in your home.

4. Your pets aren’t their pets. They imagine yours bite, jump, vomit, claw, drool, or are just plain hyper and naughty.


The best thing to do when trying to sell your home is to relocate your pets while your home is on the market, at least while actively accepting showings. Locking them in the garage, basement, or laundry room isn’t fair to them and also blocks buyers from seeing every part of your home.

  • Ask a friend or relative to take care of your pets for a few days or weeks
  • Board them at a kennel

If you are absolutely unable to remove your furkids from the property, then at least minimize the objections and nuisance factors, real or otherwise:

  • Cat litter boxes & dog potty pads: Keep them out of sight and impeccably clean. Nothing turns off buyers faster than opening the door to the laundry room and being greeted by a full or stinky cat box.
  • Carpet & floor pet stains: Hire professionals to remove the stains. Buyers will spot them and form unfavorable opinions about the rest of the house. If the stains can’t be removed, remove the floor covering and replace it.
  • Pet odors & smells: Bring in a neighbor to do a sniff test before you put your home on the market. Try not to use air fresheners as people with allergies may react. Enzyme cleaners such as Simple Solution and Nature’s Miracle often do the trick.
  • Showings: Put your pets in a carrier and attach a note asking buyers not to disturb them. You may have the friendliest pets on the planet but you never know how they’ll react when a stranger sticks a hand into their space (especially when you aren’t home!).

Removing signs that you have a pet is a smart practice while prepping your home for sale. Why turn off a buyer from the get-go? First impressions are so important!

  • Seal up doggie doors
  • Put away food and water bowls when not in use
  • Vacuum religiously, every day. Sometimes twice a day!
  • Pick up pet toys and hide them away
  • Pack up cat trees and other signs of cat paraphernalia
  • Remove photos of pets from refrigerator, table tops, and walls
  • Pack up all cages, carriers, and other tell-tale signs that a pet lives in your home

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