6 Helpful Tips For Selling A Home With Pets

Tip #1 — The ideal scenario: Give your pets an extended holiday

IF (yes, a big ‘if’) at all possible, you may want your pets out of the house for the entire duration of the marketing process.

Now, I know those who love their pets won’t love the idea of parting with their pets for any length of time.

However, there are many reasons why it makes for a more effective sale, aside from those already mentioned (buyer allergies and phobias).

For one, buyers want to visualise their new life in the new house.

This, in turn, means you receive top dollar for the sale of your property.

Having pets around might lead to the exact opposite as pets distract buyers.

Their ability to envision themselves living here is hampered, and indirectly, they might be less interested in buying.

Another (more obvious) distraction is the sound of your dog barking, even if confined to a separate part of the property.

Real estate agents have reported the difficulty of trying to hold a conversation with prospective buyers over the noise of the animals.

Even growls or hisses from confined animals can be completely off-putting to buyers.

There is also the chance of a stranger, who might never have interacted with pets, rubbing your pet the wrong way.

Can you imagine what could happen there?

They could incur a bite or a scratch. At the least, you will kiss the sale goodbye, or at worst, you could face liability.

Heck, having your pet temporarily off the property will also give you a chance to make proper preparation for showings as well.

And you don’t have to worry about an agent accidentally letting them out on the street either!

We all know it happens more than the agent admits to the sellers, as it wouldn’t be the first time you’ve got an agent sprinting after little Bonzo who’s enjoying his newfound freedom!

(I’ve had a few of those – hilarious – experiences as well when trying to sell a home with pets!)

So make use of a trusted friend or family member who also has a good relationship with your pet. Let them house the pet for a while.

And this will beat chaining or confining the pet to a small space every time there’s a buyer viewing scheduled!

Alternatively, there are also some high-quality kennel services available, where you can make sure your pet is well looked after.

Tip #2 — Give your pets their own spot

My dad used to say that you don’t need a Plan B if you’ve got a good Plan A.

However, reality is that we might not have the luxury of keeping our pets off the property while marketing the house.

In this case, you will have to set up some space for them somewhere on the property.

It would have to be a spot where they can’t disturb potential buyers.

It should ideally be as roomy as possible, but shouldn’t interfere with the real estate agent taking potential buyers on tour (and yes, the kitchen, for example, is a terrible idea).

You will have to confine them during showings, but this doesn’t mean they have to be miserable:

  • Make sure they have plenty of water and that their feeding routine stays as normal as possible.
  • Give them their favourite toy, and any blanket or mat that they normally sleep on.
  • Animals respond very well to soothing words, so you can also comfort and encourage them when they move into the area.

Remember to praise them when they come out at the end of a showing as well.

Tip #3 — Present a house without pets

As mentioned, the goal of staging a house is to remove all overt reminders of your presence in the home.

And this includes the presence of your pets!

Put away feeding dishes and water bowls; bigger pet accessories like kennels should be placed neatly on the periphery of the area.

Did your Rottweiler go to town on his sleeping blanket the day before the showing, chewing it up and scattering it over the lawn?

You guessed it right: you now have the job of ensuring it’s all tidied up before the agent arrives with the interested buyers.

One buyer even reported an unusual put-off: nose marks that the dogs left on the sliding doors.

Yup – that’s right!

It just shows how some things might be petty to some (if you are an animal lover yourself), yet be the yukkiest for others!

But, weigh up the chance of a great sale of your home against the time it takes to get a pane of glass wiped down.

Really, it’s worth it!

As weird as it may be, sometimes those little things actually do make a difference in the end whether interested buyers go ahead and make an offer or not.

Fish tanks are harmless when it comes to selling a home with pets, assuming they are in good condition!

However, terrariums with bearded dragons, snakes or tarantulas are a big no-no.

If you were surprised about the 36% figure at the top of this article, you don’t want to know how many people dislike those lovely house pets.

A large segment of the population has never appreciated the beauty of these creatures.

And after all, shouldn’t you be more interested in the sale of the house than on selling the idea that these are great pets?

And make sure you conceal these terrariums!

Do you remember that popular real estate show on television, in which the hosts give each house they are marketing a quirky name?

You don’t want your show house to be known as the “dog motel”, or “the menagerie”, or the “lizard hideout”.

So do yourself a big favor and minimise the presence of these animals!

Tip #4 — Fix up what the dog broke down

It is always a good idea to look at your house through fresh eyes when selling.

Try to put your mind in the position of a prospective buyer.

Even the smallest of touches can make all the difference to a prospective buyer!

Such as replacing the section of carpet which your cat has clawed to smithereens.

If your Ridgeback has figured out how to open the back door, what a clever pup!

But if she has left claw marks all over the door and frame, that is something you should see to before showing.

Check the garden area while you are at it.

Dogs, especially large dogs, can be hard on your lawn.

Again, this process becomes easier if the dogs are being safely housed at their Uncle Fred’s house.

This will help you to avoid having the fixtures damaged all over again, the minute you’ve had them repaired.

Tip #5 — Never show a stinky house!

The effect of our sense of smell on the sale of a house is widely accepted as a deciding factor in the process.

A smelly, unkempt area will lead to buyers hurrying out the door.

And pet odors will undoubtedly turn off potential buyers!


Make sure all droppings are dealt with and that the areas are thoroughly cleaned.

Litter boxes should be out of sight as well if possible.

If you have a bird cage, cover it up and make sure that there are no feathers scattered about the room.

On this point, I should mention pet hair as well.

One can get used to a particular spot having a few cat hairs present, but for an allergic buyer walking in off the street, it could be the cause of a sneezing fit, a running nose and puffy eyes.

Make sure these areas get swept and vacuumed.

If you are covering up odours, use one flavour of air freshener throughout the house.

A different flavour in each room creates an unnatural feel as you tour the house.

Don’t overdo it with the air freshener either – one good spray towards the centre of the room should do it.

There is always the trick of baking something delicious before a showing.

This is delightfully subversive and effective, and great for creating a pleasant smell in the house.

And yes, I might be nagging again, but be sure to wash up your dishes and have a spotless kitchen, though!

Tip #6 — When in doubt, talk to an expert

You will want to make sure your pet is in good shape for the move.

Have you been stressed out by the moving process?

Do you realize that it can be equally stressful for pets, especially older dogs and cats?!

It is always a good idea to talk to the pet’s veterinarian – which might be a good move (pardon the pun) to get their perspective before undertaking the move!

A good professional will be able to give you sound advice relating to your pet.

Preparing your house for sale while doing your best to deal with your pet’s needs might take some extra work.

But it’s worth it if you want to fetch the best price for your property.

And with the right effort, you will be playing fetch on the lawn of your new house in no time!


Copyright Credit: Luxury Homes Johannesburg / Xavier De Buck 


Don’t Let Your Luck Run Out!

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 11.20.39 AM

Some Highlights:

  • The “Cost of Waiting to Buy” is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices and interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts that interest rates will increase to 4.8% by this time next year, while home prices are predicted to appreciate by 4.8% according to CoreLogic.
  • Waiting until next year to buy could cost you thousands of dollars a year for the life of your mortgage!

(Courtesy of: Keeping Current Matters / SimplifyingtheMarket.com)

10 Ways to Increase Your Home Value on a Budget

With the Spring Market well underway, it is time for home owners to kick the selling preparation into full gear! What many do not know, is that this preparation does not need to put a huge dent into your bank account. There are many different things that can be done (little things) that make a huge impact on the value of your home. Here are just a few things that could help:

  1. Spruce Up YoScreen Shot 2017-02-23 at 4.23.34 PMur Front Yard

 Curb appeal is something that can have a huge impact on a home. Although many may not see the need to address the outside, it can be as equally important as the inside of a home. What home buyers see, as their first impression, can shape their entire opinion of a property. Just some tidying-up after the winter months, and some sprucing here and there, may be all you need to do in order to shape a home buyer’s opinion of your home.

  1. Give your walls a fresh coat of paint

 A nice fresh coat of paint can be a great way to freshen up a space. However, be sure to not just do small patches. If you plan to dive into the project, be sure to paint the entire wall, rather than spots here and there.  Small patches are a bad sign to home buyer’s, and make it appear as though there may be a problem to look into.

  1. Purchase new handles for your cabinets

Although your kitchen may not be completely redone, there are some easy changes that make your old cabinets appear more up to date and fresh. Try to replace the handles on your cabinets. Take out the worn or dated handles and replace them with a new/ updated version. It can giver your cabinets a whole new look.

  1. Re-caulk your sinks and tubs

This can add great value as well as eye appeal to the home buyers.  A fresh caulking to the sinks and tubs can make bathrooms look cleaner and fresher, both very important aspects. This is a great low-budget fix to improve any bathroom.

  1. Buy matching front panels for appliances

As homeowners need to repair/replace appliances, many times it is not all done at the same time, unless a full kitchen renovation takes place. Therefore, with prices and      reviews, you may not end up with the same appliance finishes. This isn’t always appealing to most home buyers. However, an easy fix is to replace the front panels of the appliances, in order to have them all match (ex: black, stainless steel, white, etc).

  1. Deep clean your home

Although it may seem as though your home is clean from the naked eye, be sure to go   through and do a good thorough deep cleaning to the home. Rather than just vacuuming, shampoo the carpets. Rather than just sweeping, wash the flooring. All of these little things will be noticeable to home buyers and ultimately be beneficial to you  in the end.

  1. Purchase new shades for old lamps

Rather than buying all new light fixtures for around the house, simply revamp your told lamps with new lamp shades. Lamp shades tend to get pretty dusty and torn over time. Add some color/variety to your home with some new shades at a low cost to you. 

  1. Purchase new faucets

As with new lampshades, new faucets are a great and inexpensive fix to improve sinks throughout the home. Rather than adding a new sink all together, simply add new clean   fixtures to improve the look and style.

  1. Protect your home with a warranty

Many home owners may think that a warranty isn’t necessary, however many home buyers find such to be a very positive aspect when looking at a home. A warranty is undoubtedly something that is worth adding to your home, when selling.

  1. Update your carpeting

Whether a home is full of wall to wall carpet, or simply area rugs, updating the floor coverings is a great way to improve the look of a space. Remember- carpeting is prone       to absorbing dirt/ grime as well as smoke and other smells. New fresh carpeting is extremely appealing to home buyers, as it would be to most.


(Graphic Credit: Landmark Home Warranty