What to Do with Pets When Selling a Home

What to Do with Pets When Selling a Home

October 3, 2021 | Selling Your Home | By: Jamyn Page

What to Do with Pets When Selling a Home

Most people love dogs, cats, and other household animals – but like most things, there is a time and place for everything. Unfortunately, having pets when selling a home can cause major issues and affect your bottom line. If you are an animal lover, we know this can be a bitter pill to swallow, but read on…. Here is what to do with pets when selling a home.


Whether your home is being held open or having a showing, below are just some reasons why pets need to be removed from your home during these times.

Fear & Nerves

It may seem hard to believe, but the fear of cats and dogs is the most common animal fear. While many people may not outright fear pets, they are not comfortable around them. We have seen clients refuse to go into homes that have pets. Of course, when selling, the goal is to get as many people through your door as possible to expand the field of interest.


Very often, we hear, “my cat is so nice” and “my dog doesn’t bark.” Well, we have had that “nice” cat attack potential buyers and draw blood and that “non-barking” dog get so territorial it barks, growls, and scares buyers and agents — so much they have to leave. You very well might have the most well-mannered pet(s), but you never know how they will react to strangers coming into your home (nor do you know how a stranger will treat your pet).

It’s Not THEIR Pet

Even people who have pets can be lukewarm about YOURS. Just because they love their own dog, does not mean they will love your pup.


Here are some ways our clients have resolved the issue of pets:

  • Leave them with family or friends while your home is on the market
  • Board them for a specific amount of time
  • Take them to work with you for the day (if this is an option).
  • Hire a dog walker to remove them for showings
  • Ask a close neighbor to take your pet during showings
  • Completely move out of your home and take them with you

Of course, everyone’s situation is different and the right option will vary depending on how long your home remains on the market and how many showings you have scheduled. We can help guide you through this decision of what to do with pets when selling a home.


When you are dealing with the logistics of removing your pet from your home for showings, remember the many benefits of doing so:

  • No risk of your pets getting out and running away or becoming lost
  • Less liability (you would be held responsible for any pet attacks that occur in your home)
  • Greater chance of getting top dollar for your home
  • Increased showings will help the home sell faster
  • Buyers can more easily envision themselves (and THEIR pets) living in your home


In addition to finding a place for your pets to go during showings, be sure to address some other common pet issues when selling a home.


Walking into a laundry room or opening up a garage door and seeing a full or stinky litter box or soiled puppy pads can be a major turn off for buyers. Move such items out of sight and ensure they are always clean (be sure to also read our article on other top showing tips).


If you know stains are an issue before going on the market, hire a professional carpet/floor cleaner to do a deep cleaning. If need be, replace soiled or stained carpets. To buyers, stains can reflect badly on the rest of the house. We want buyers to feel the home is well-maintained and fully move-in ready, which may require replacing carpets or flooring (the investment will be worth it).


Nothing turns off a buyer more than opening a door to an overwhelming pet smell. Cat urine and wet dog are the worst offenders. Remember that smells seep deep into carpets, floors, furniture, pillows, pet beds, etc. Have a friend do a “smell test,” as many people become immune to the odors in their own home. If a smell is present, be sure to Febreeze, deep clean, open windows or replace items as necessary. Do NOT just bring in air fresheners or candles without addressing the underlying issue. The combination of the smells doesn’t fix the problem!


We know that having a pet inevitably damages parts of your home. Before listing your home, be sure to look at all flooring, doors, walls, outdoor space etc. and remove any evidence of your pet’s mischievous deeds. Try to keep up with this maintenance while your home is on the market.


Still wondering what to do with pets when selling a home? Our suggestion for getting top dollar for your home AND assuring that there are no issues concerning your pet(s) is to simply remove your pet(s) completely. If you can arrange for your pet to be out of the home while it’s on the market or at least for showings and open houses, it will help tremendously in getting your home sold quickly and for the best possible price.

If we can help you sell your (pet’s) home, please contact us today. We are always happy to discuss what may work best for you and your family.

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