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Your Home, Your Dog’s Domain

How to Prep a House for Sale When You Have Pets


Selling a home is never easy but you can increase your chances of a smooth transaction if you prepare ahead of time…especially if you have a dog (or two or three) taking up residence in your abode.


Step 1. Prep the lawn

Take a walk around your house before each showing or open house and clean up any “gifts” your dog might’ve left behind. Likewise, fill any holes that have been dug to ensure your buyers don’t twist an ankle while they’re inspecting the lawn. further suggests aerating and seeding bare spots or sewing sod over brown patches to eliminate urine burns, which are a telltale sign that animals live in the home.


Step 2. Eliminate odors

Thanks to olfactory fatigue, there’s a good chance that you can’t smell your dog anymore. But guess who can? Your buyers, that’s who. Eliminating odors throughout the home is one of the greatest challenges of pet parenthood and one that we often unwittingly give up on. Unfortunately, a smelly house will be perceived as less valuable and may get skipped over all together by buyers who are unwilling to put the effort into renovations. Have your carpet and upholstered furniture professionally cleaned and leave the windows open whenever possible. Typically in Pembroke Pines, FL you can expect to pay between $112 to $248 to have a professional clean your carpets. A small price to pay for peace of mind.


Step 3. Get rid of hair

Hair, hair, everywhere. That pretty much sums up every dog owner’s home. But, as Little Buddies pet adoption agency explains, 15% of Americans are allergic to pet hair and dander so all that flying fuzz reduces your potential buying pool significantly. Prior to each showing, dust hard surfaces, vacuum the carpet and rugs, and reduce breezes through the home, which can kick up settled dust and debris.


Step 4. Quick! Hide the evidence

That’s right, if you want to sell your house for the best possible price, you’ll need to remove as much evidence as possible that there is an animal in the home. All of those toys, food and water bowls, leashes, collars, and even pet costumes turn from cute to clutter in your buyers’ eyes. Take these things with you or have a designated container, such as a wicker laundry basket, in the garage where they can be stashed quickly before the home is shown.


Step 5. Get rid of the dog during showings

Your dog’s presence will make buyers uncomfortable. Whether he’s a barker, biter, licker, or lover, there’s no reason for your dog to remain on the property when strangers are coming in and out. Remove the dog from the home or, as a last resort, put him in a crate in an out-of-the-way place. Similarly, if you’re the buyer, there’s no reason for you to take your dog onto someone else’s property.


Moving day is nigh

Congratulations, you’ve sold your home and, hopefully, cashed in on some serious equity. But now, it’s time to get things ready and get out the door and down the road. Once you’ve selected a moving company, make sure they are aware there is a dog on the premises. On moving day, leave your spouse or other responsible adult in charge and take your dog for an outing. Let him burn some energy at the local dog park, grab a bite to eat at a dog-friendly, outdoor diner, or hit up your favorite dog groomer and have your pooch pampered while you return home and help the movers with the dirty work.


In addition to all of the above, double check with your homeowners insurance that you’re covered in the off-chance of an unpleasant encounter between your dog and homebuyer hopefuls. Fortunately, the real estate market is hot and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Hopefully, things will be back to normal for you and your dog within a matter of weeks and you can settle into your own new home.


Article provided by Tamara Gilmore from