Wipe Your Paws (and Other Advice for Dogs Living in an On-Market Home)
Ok, we really don’t have any advice for dogs since dogs can’t read, but we do have some great tips for homebuyers and sellers with a canine companion to consider throughout a real estate transaction.
Buyers, if the question comes up about whether or not you should take your hound house hunting, the answer is always “no.” The same goes for having your dog join you at closing. It’s always best to keep Kenny the Cocker Spaniel cozy at home. Many pet owners argue that their furry friend should have a chance to walk through the home before move-in day. While this is certainly true, the current homeowner may have conditions that make it dangerous for themselves and their families to have a dog on premises. These include but are certainly not limited to:
Dogs on site and the potential for an aggressive conflict
Children with severe pet dander allergies
Home is currently occupied with tenants
Potential for property damage
Owner is concerned that visiting dogs may attempt to mark territory
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get your pet pooch familiar with the area without crossing the threshold until you have keys in-hand. National real estate brokerage RedFin suggests walking through the neighborhood and taking a stroll around the local parks. Not only will this acquaint your dog with the sights, scents, and sounds of his new community, it will give you the opportunity to meet fellow canine caregivers.
You’re going to hear it at some point, whether from your real estate agent or your all-too-honest best friend: strangers can smell your dog even if you can’t. If you rush out for showing without taking preventative measures to reduce your dog’s impact on the overall ambience of the property, there’s a good chance you’ll lose an otherwise in-the-bag sale. Here are a few ways to lessen the evidence of his presence:
Vacuum every day, paying attention to the area around baseboards and corners. House Beautiful recommends utilizing your vacuum's crevice tool and running your machine in both directions to remove as much dirt and debris as possible.
Remove your dog’s bedding, food bowls, and toys.
Pick up any litter or wayward bones from the front and back lawn and repair any damaged your dog might have caused. Examine your deck stairs and wooden fencing for scratch and bite marks.
Brush your dog’s fur outdoors at the end of each day. This can reduce shedding significantly.
Eliminate odors throughout your house by opening windows and using an odor neutralizing product. The Old Farmer’s Almanac offers a number of suggestions on non-toxic ways to suffocate smells here.
Brighten things up a bit by removing light-blocking curtains and replacing them with sheer panels.
Start a load of laundry just before each showing and make sure to use softly scented dryer sheets. This will mask odors in your laundry room, where pets often like to hideout.
Vacate with your dog. Go for a long walk if weather permits, enjoy an afternoon visit with a friend, or take a trip to your local pet store.
Clean your dog’s paws after every outdoor excursion, especially if it’s muddy or there is snow or leaves on the ground.
A final word of caution: any damage to your property that occurs due to your dog before closing may result in a reduced or rescinded offer. Even if you have multiple buyers interested in the property, you will get the most out of your investments if it’s in pristine, dog-free condition. The difference in sales price between homes with pets and homes without can be significant; consider the price difference compensation for all of your hard work.
Thanks to Medina at dogetiquette.info for this article