Pets and Selling Your Home

I know — your pet is a member of the family. How could any prospective buyer fail to fall in love with your affectionate dog or cuddly cat? We’ll leave off the more exotic pets at the moment.

I was once showing a townhome that had one of those long narrow windows along side the front door (called “sidelights” for those who are interested). There, sitting proudly in the middle of the foyer, was the cutest cat I had seen in a long time. To my surprise, the buyer totally freaked out. The only way I could get her to go inside was if I held the cat and stood in the corner as far away from her as possible. She was so concerned about the cat that she couldn’t remember a single feature about the house an hour later.

I’ve also had owners assure me that their dog is going to do nothing more vicious than lick us to death. As true as the owner may believe this to be, a dog may react very differently to strangers entering the house when the owner is not home. Small children may startle a dog and make it behave very differently than normal.

Then we come to the more exotic pets…snakes and lizards may frighten some buyers. Or fascinate them so much that they never really look at the house. The worst that happened while showing property involved an amorous rabbit and my client’s foot. This rabbit really took a fancy to my client’s foot and attempted to demonstrate it…physically!

So if you have pets, think twice about leaving them in the house while it’s on the market. You never know if potential buyers share your love of animals or if they are terrified of them.

© 2006 Susan Pruden.

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