Many of us have family pets and they must be considered when your house is going to be shown to virtual strangers – your home’s potential buyer.

If your pet is crate trained, he will feel safest if he is crated during a showing.  If not crate trained, some people will place their pet in a bath or laundry room using a baby gate – not the door.  The gate allows the pet a sense of freedom and allows the potential buyer to see the room – if only from the threshold.  If your pet is not normally gated, best to get him used to the idea by gating him in the mudroom, just for minutes at a time, while you are at home.  Make it a fun place to be – give him a new toy to play with or a yummy bone to chew.

If crating or gating is not an option for your pet, there are other possibilities.  If the cat or dog is friendly and won’t be disturbed by strangers in the house, we advise clients to just let them be in the house as usual.  However, if they are the kind of pet who likes to do a runner at every opportunity, you might want to consider having a neighbour pet sit for the duration of the showing.  Even if they are not escape artists, it is a good idea to have a sign on the door alerting the buyer’s agent that there is a pet in the house who is friendly but is not crated.

Remember, while you might be used to the comforting musk of your pet – others may not enjoy the scent.  Litter boxes should be cleaned everyday – not just before a showing.  If, on occasion, your dog has used a rug as a place to do his business – throw it out.  The smell of pet urine is next to impossible to remove. If you protect your furniture with blankets, wash them and pet beds weekly. Do not use air fresheners as some folks are very sensitive to scent. The best scent is fresh air!

You want your home to invite all the buyer’s senses – its beauty, warmth, peacefulness, and freshness.

Written by: Sandy Morgan