- Take the Dog for a Walk.
When your prospective buyers are in the house, your pets should be out of it. Even if Fido is friendly and your Persian purrs at all visitors, it’s almost impossible to predict how a potential buyer will react to a strange animal. You don’t want any part of the tour to be negative, and for many people, cat dander and a lick on the hand is a definite no. During tours, arrange for your pet to be out of the house. Your dog is probably up for a trip to the dog park, and your cat… well, your cat could probably stand some sunshine, too. (Crates were built for this.)
- Hide the Evidence.
No one likes the smell of a litter box, and you can bet that it will be noticeable to potential buyers, even if you’re used to the odor. So, a few hours before a showing, open a few windows to get the smell out, then relocate the litterbox to the garage. You don’t want to leave a bad smell in a buyer’s nose.
- Pick Up the Toys.
Your pet’s playthings probably have a way of turning up in unexpected places. That’s why, if you don’t have one already, it’s a good idea to designate a particular storage place — a box or closet — for them. Keep an inventory, and before any tour, find each plaything. You don’t want your prospective buyers tripping over a squeaky mouse, or sitting down on the couch only to be jabbed by a drool-soaked rawhide bone.
- Leave Carpets to the Pros.
Carpet cleaners and vacuums might have made astronomical progress over the past few decades, but they still often find themselves conquered by Pomeranians. Instead of obsessing over your carpets before every single showing, arrange to have them deep-cleaned. It will save you hours of time fussing with carpet shampoos and vacuum cleaners. (And it goes without saying: Post-cleaning, try to keep your four-legged friends to hardwood or tile areas.)
- Lint-Roll Everything. And Clean Up the Yard.
Potential buyers probably bear no ill will toward your pet. But that doesn’t mean they want to spend the rest of the day after touring your house picking cat hair off their clothes. So please: Buy a lint roller. Use it on every fabric surface you think a buyer might touch. Then use it again.
And just because your yard is outdoors, that doesn’t mean that you’re not responsible for its contents. Your dog might do his business out of sight in the back yard, but it shouldn’t be out of mind for you — and it definitely won’t be for buyers. Take a shovel to the evidence.
Sam Radbil is a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace. ABODO was founded in 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. And in just three years, the company has grown to more than 30 employees, raised over $8M in outside funding and helps more than half a million renters find a new home each month.