Selling a House When You Have Pets

Posted by Steve Vincent on May 2, 2017 10:07:20 AM

In Sellers

Selling a home when you have a petAccording to the National Pet Owners Survey 2017-18, nearly 70% of households in the U.S. have pets—that’s about 85 million families. We love our own dogs, cats, guinea pigs, parakeets, and lizards. For some reason, though, people don’t love YOURS when they are considering buying your house. Some people have a real fear of specific types of animals, while others know from experience the potential problems pets in the home can cause: odors, stains, claw marks, and so on. Here’s our best advice on how to sell your home when you have pets. Ideally, you will be able to do three things:

  1. Remove your pet from the home while it’s being shown. This will eliminate the possibility that your pet will scare potential buyers…or get stressed out by strange people in the home.
  2. Hide signs that there is an animal in the home. This will ensure any negative associations someone may have about pets in the house don’t pop into their minds.
  3. Maintain a scrupulously clean home. No one wants to be distracted by tumbleweeds of pet hair, bad pet odors, etc.

Remove Your Pet from Your Home Temporarily

Removing your pet from your home can mean different things:

  • If you have a dog and you are home a lot, Fido could take a walk or drive with you while your house is being shown, or go play with a neighbor’s dog until the showing is over.
  • If you are often away for work or other reasons, consider having Fido stay with a trusted family member or friend – or have him boarded – while you’re in the process of selling your home.
  • Cats, reptiles, and birds may need to go visit a trusted friend or family member or get boarded.
  • If you absolutely cannot remove your pet from your home completely, at least confine him or her to a specific space or put outdoors…and be sure to let your agent know your plans.

Hide the Evidence of Animals in the Home

Hide signs that there’s an animal in the house:

  • Put away all pet toys, grooming tools, litter boxes, food and water bowls, etc.
  • If not boarded somewhere else, confine snakes, lizards, guinea pigs, etc,, in their cages to an inconspicuous spot in the home (and again, let your realtor know where that is so no one will be surprised).
  • If dogs and cats cannot be boarded, put them outside or in their crates or carriers placed in an unobtrusive location that will minimize stress for them (and of course, let your realtor know where they are!).
  • For dog owners: pick up dog waste from your yard!

You Can't Keep Your Home TOO Clean

Keep your home extremely clean:

  • Ensure that any pet-soiled carpets or rugs are professionally cleaned or replaced if necessary.
  • Consider putting an air purifier in any rooms that are frequently occupied by pets.
  • Keep any animal cages, pet bedding, aquariums, etc., clean and fresh.
  • Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! Every day – even twice a day if you have shedding pets.


If we can offer you advice about anything related to selling your Piedmont Triad-area home...or buying a new one in the area, please get in touch. At The Vincent Group at GreatNest, we serve buyers and sellers across Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Summerfield, Oak Ridge, Jamestown, and the rest of the Piedmont Triad. Our experienced real estate professionals help home buyers and sellers save money by charging a low set fee instead of a percentage commission. Call us at (336) 790-5210 or email Steve Vincent.  Visit our website at