Pet Owner's Guide to Showing a House


When you’ve made the decision to list your home, there are a number of things you will need to do to ensure your house is ready to be shown. For pet owners, the list is even longer, so we’ve collected a few tips to help you prepare your home for sale.

Relocation or Boarding. We recommend not having your pets out and about in your home during showings, because you never know if you have a pet lover coming through your door. Imagine being fearful of dogs, and having one bombard you when you enter a home you’re considering making an offer on. You might think twice about making that offer. Also, if animals are loose in the home, there is always a risk of injury, therefore it is not a smart decision to allow pets to wander about the home when you are not present.

While it might be difficult to be away from your furry loved ones, in order to sell their house we have seen many families relocate their pets with friends or family members. This allows the homeowner to keep them close by. However, some homeowners will opt to board their pets for extended periods of time to allow for ease of scheduling open houses.

Selling your home requires a lot of extra hard work. One of the biggest mistakes a seller could make would be to limit opportunities for showings. If you have the flexibility to leave work at the drop of a hat and pick up your animals for a long car ride, then be sure to do this. However, for most of us, this is not a possibility. Either way, have a plan of action for showing days.

Deep Cleaning. For a no-pet home, a quick cleaning before showings will usually suffice. However, when pets are living in the home, we recommend investing in a deep cleaning before you list. Pet hair, dander and other animal debris collects in all kinds of places, and you wouldn’t want to deter a buyer with debris from your furchildren. It’s also nice to have a third party come in and let you know if certain areas of your home carry “pet odor” or need extra TLC.

As part of your deep cleaning, be sure to remove as much evidence of your pets as possible. Conceal litter boxes, consolidate toys, ropes, beds, treats, food and feeding bowls. If you have excess items, store them in plastic bins out of sight. The last thing you want is for a potential buyer to have to step around your pets items, or even trip on them and hurt themselves.

Outdoor Cleaning. Don’t forget the outdoors. Especially for dog-owners, proper yard maintenance is a must. Be sure to clean up “land mines” and do your best to remove toys from the yard so the potential buyers can walk the property without fear of stepping on (or in) something.