By Jason Feldman, Chicago Pet Friendly Real Estate
Selling a home can be complicated… and even more so when you have a pet. People have asked me questions like:
- What should I do about the hairy mess my cat leaves on the sofa?
- My dog usually urinates from being overly excited when there are strangers in the home. What do I do with my dog when there are showings?
- My dog has a pee pad. Can I leave that in the closet?
- My bird has a foul mouth. How do I keep him from cussing out visitors?
Here is our checklist for selling your home with a pet in the house:
Whenever possible, remove your pet from the house during showings and open houses. If they have to be there, then make sure they are in a secured, locked cage or room. Put a sign on the room door that alerts visitors to the presence of the pet so that nobody freaks out.
Clean and remove stains, giant tumbleweed cat hairballs, and unpleasant odors.
Remove dog and cat toys so nobody trips on a squeaky ball.
Move food and water bowls if they are a tripping hazard, they smell, or are just plain ugly.
Make sure your realtor highlights any special elements that incorporate a hidden dog feeding area or cat litter box. Other animal lovers will be attracted to these features.
Remember to remove excrement pads and clean the cat litter before all showings. No exceptions here! Walking into a kitchen with a cat *ahem* “gift” on the floor is not the prettiest element of a kitchen.
Repair or replace any damage like scratches on the back of doors (yes, you CAN see how your dog misses you while you are away). Consider refinishing the floors if there are visible scuff marks.
Make sure your realtor screens all buyers before they view your property (condos) to make sure their type of pet, size, and quantity will be allowed. This will help avoid wasting your time.
Lastly, make sure your realtor knows all of the pet-friendly features in your building and neighborhood, such as dog spas, dog runs, nearby parks, walking services, and more.
All of these should help make selling your home easier and faster, and make the experience better for your pet, too. Good luck!
Jason Feldman is a Realtor specializing in helping people with pets buy and sell homes in the Chicago area. His website is Chicago Pet Friendly Real Estate, and be sure to check out his Facebook page for more great tips on buying and selling a home!