If you have cats, dogs, or other pets, you may be wondering how you’ll be able to do the work to sell your Queens, NY home while also having your pets underfoot. The truth is that your best plan for a sale will involve repairing any pet damage and keeping the pets out of the way during showings, since even buyers who love animals will be distracted from their main purpose – getting to know the house – by the presence of pets. Here are some tips for making your sale a success even with pets.
Make a Plan For Showings and Open Houses
Many real estate agents will work with you to optimize the first few days of your home being on the market – if they are generating a lot of buzz about your home, these will be the busiest days and the best time to showcase the home. Ideally, you’ll want to make a plan for the pets to be elsewhere for the entirety of the first few days on the market – indeed, they may need to be elsewhere even before, so that you can fully remove pet fur and deodorize if the home has a bit of a cat/dog smell about it. Here are some options for where your pets could go during showings:
- If possible, have pets stay with a close friend or relative for that week or so.
- Professional kennels and pet boarding are a small price to pay to have your full attention on getting the house ready.
- If animals can be kept outdoors safely, consider having them spend all showings/open house times outside, and maybe even taking them for a walk (in the case of a dog) when potential buyers are evaluating the property.
Remove Evidence of Pets but Disclose Allergens
In general, having a dog bed, a cat litter box, or any other pet items in your home during the showing or open house is going to personalize your home. Buyers are wanting to see how this home would fit them, with their unique interests and their own pets (or not!). To reach a maximum number of buyers and have them see themselves living in this home at some point, you’ll want to remove all evidence of pets, placing items in an unfinished space or going ahead and moving them out to where your pets are staying during this time. It can feel odd since the pets are members of your family, but it’s the right move to fully stage your home for sale.
That being said, even after you’ve cleaned the home as extensively as possible, you’ll want to disclose in marketing materials that a cat or dog has lived in this home, so that buyers can choose whether or not to visit. No one who has a surprise allergic reaction is going to be excited to purchase the home anyway.
Acknowledge All Amenity Qualities, Not Just Pet-Friendliness
While mentioning full-fenced yards, nearby parks, and cool features like a dog run in the yard might feel like the right move, the best way to present home features is generally as amenities that can serve anyone, not just pet owners. While a dog-specific feature like a dog run or a structure like a chicken coop are going to imply pets, it’s easy to just mention nearby parks and fully-fenced yards without excluding pet-less families from your buyer pool.