Your house is on the market, and you are hoping for plenty of showings. Cleaning and preparing the house is probably the first thing on your mind. However, you also need to start thinking about your dog. If you have one or more dogs in your household, you are in good company.
The American Veterinary Medical Association says that approximately 43,346,000 U.S. households have dogs. We love our dogs, but it is important to understand that many prospective buyers do not love dogs, or even if they own a dog, they may not love yours. Another important consideration is the needs of your dog. Your pet has its own, individual needs, especially if it is older or has difficulty adjusting to changes. You may wish to talk with your veterinarian about your plans and get some expert recommendations to keep the stress level to a minimum.
Most real estate agents suggest that you avoid being home during showings, but your house isn’t just your home. It’s your dog’s territory. And a whole group of strangers will be traipsing through it when you are not there. This is a perfect recipe for a dog to become highly nervous and protective.
If you must leave your dog in the house, the goal is to create a safe space, such as a crate or kennel. Even if crated, your dog will probably bark or whine, which is distracting to visitors. If you will be leaving your dog in the home, legal liability is also a concern. Always check your home insurance policy to be sure that dog bites are covered. Check for exclusions for certain breeds. If your potential buyer brings a young child, even the crate may not prevent a curious little finger from being bitten.
“…even the crate may not prevent a curious little finger from being bitten.”
The National Association of Realtors® recommends removing your pet from home during showings. This may not be as easy as it sounds. If you are home before a showing, you can take the dog for a walk, or a visit to the dog park. This is also a great time for a grooming or veterinarian appointment, if possible.
If you will not be home or will be unable to go home in time for a showing, you need a back-up plan. You may wish to arrange for day boarding at a boarding facility or with a family member or friend. A professional dog walker may be able to stop by and walk your dog on short notice.
If you have a dog in your family, keeping your house clean and free of clutter is especially challenging. Start by deep cleaning the house to remove pet odors. This includes carpeting, drapes, and furniture. Check for fleas and ticks which may have gotten into the house. In general, keep the pet clutter to a minimum. Make a checklist for yourself, so that you remember to remove pet beds, blankets, toys, and dishes on short notice. When preparing to sell your home, always have a plan to keep your beloved dog safe during showings.
If you enjoyed this post, you should read 4 Reasons You Should Hike With Your Dog here.
I haven’t yet had to show a home while having pups-have you? Share your thoughts below!