LOVELAND – Man’s best friend… but not necessarily when you’re looking to sell your home! Unfortunately, your beloved Labrador or Siamese may complicate your home selling plans as pets can make homes more difficult to sell and show. In an effort to ameliorate the situation, here are a few helpful tips on selling your home when you have pets.

Remove your pet for showings
If possible, it’s best to temporarily “relocate” your pet for showings. Sadly, many people are not pet-friendly and any presence of an animal in the home may dissuade them from even considering your home for purchase. They may fear damage done to property, be allergic to dander, or simply be afraid of pets.

Crate them
If you cannot remove your pet from the home, at least put them in a crate for showings (and preferably not in a highly visible area). As in the aforementioned tip, many people simply don’t want to know that a pet is in the home or may avoid rooms where pets are present.

Prevent an “accidental” escape
Leaving a “do not let the cat out” note for the person showing your home is no guarantee that it won’t get out accidentally. Even if the showing agent is careful to heed your warning, you can’t trust that a potential buyer is as cautious or even aware of their presence. It is your responsibility to make sure your pet is secured and protected from a potential escape.

Keep the litter box area clean and odor free
This should go without saying…but still needs to be addressed. Any strong smells in your home are an instant deterrent to a buyer – and a dirty litter box can be quite pungent and offensive (especially to non-pet lovers.) Make a point to keep this area as clean and odor free as possible.

Repair any damage
Did your adorable puppy chew up the baseboards years ago? Or perhaps your elderly cat had an accident on the wall-to-wall carpet? You’ll want to make sure that you repair any damage caused by your pet in an effort to ‘leave no trace’ of their existence. Buyers do not want to see any residual signs of damage or stains from pets.

Scoop the poop!
Pick up any poop in the yard or surrounding area. Not only do you want to avoid a buyer stepping in it while viewing the property (which would not make the best impression) – you’ll also want to prevent it from being brought back into the home and create a mess during the showing!

The last thing that you want is for your pets be a distraction or deterrent to potential buyers. Keep these tips in mind the next time you open your home for a showing. And remember…it’s not only for their benefit – you also want to keep your beloved pets safe as well!

Suzanne Plewes is a broker associate at RE/MAX Alliance. Write to 750 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland, CO 80537,  call 970.290.0373 or e-mail [email protected].