Dogs & Home Listings: How to keep home buyers & Fido safe

Dogs & Home Listings: How to keep home buyers & Fido safe

Dogs are a sensitive and often polarizing issue. Some people love them while others are terrified of them. Finding pooch-friendly housing is often a challenge for those seeking new digs, particularly for buyers looking into condos that may be governed by strict anti-pet rules.

But just as big of an issue for real estate agents is making sure that buyers aren’t turned off to a house because of the seller’s dogs. Here are a number of strategies to consider.

The dog shouldn’t be there
It’s not just the sellers who should vacate the home during a showing, but their furry friends should ideally be out of the house as well. There may be instances in which this isn’t feasible but you should try to find ways to put pets elsewhere as much as possible.

Plan ahead
It’s important that you have the conversation with sellers upfront about what to do with their dog during showings. What you don’t want to do is have to improvise the day of the showing. You don’t know the dog well and you don’t know how it will respond to being put outside in the yard for an extended period of time. That can also potentially be dangerous if you’re dealing with extreme hot or cold weather.  

Dog sitting
Depending on how much your client is willing to spend, there are a number of options for keeping a dog out of the house during showings. If you’re lucky, the seller may be able to take the dog out themselves or they may have a friend who can look after it during the showing.

Otherwise, there are kennels and doggy daycares. If it’s just for a short period of time, there are generally lower-cost kennels that will do the trick. If the seller isn’t able to pick up their pet quickly, they might be more comfortable spending a little more to keep their dog at an all-day doggy daycare.

If none of that works…
If the sellers can’t find a way to get the dog out of the house during the showing, talk to them about ways to minimize the disruption or unease that might be caused to buyers checking out the property. Can the dog be in a crate during the showing, perhaps in the yard or in the basement?

Clearing a home of dog smell
If the sellers are still living in the home with their dog, that doesn’t mean that the home needs to smell strongly of their pet. There are tons of easy ways to freshen up the scent of a house to get rid of odors that have developed over the years. Try steam-cleaning the carpets, cleaning floors with a vinegar solution and using essential oils and air fresheners to make the house smell a little less canine.
How do you navigate the issue of selling homes with dogs? Tell us about what you do in a comment or share with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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