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The lawn is trimmed, the house is spotless and you're ready for a real estate agent to show off your home to a prospective buyer -- but what about your pets? Pets and showings don't always mix; the potential buyers may be afraid of or allergic to your animals -- or your pets could slip right past them and end up roaming the neighborhood. For the safety and comfort of all, confine or remove your pets during a showing in one of the following ways.
What to do with Pets When you Show your Home
Contain them: This works best with smaller animals, like cats, petite, quiet dogs and even exotic animals like house rabbits. When they are present, but not roaming around, your pet will be safe and won't be much of a distraction. Ideally, a pet carrier or crate can be used for this purpose -- and allows your home to be shown at a moment's notice.
Take a walk or drive: If you know when a showing is happening and will be home, then put on a leash and head to the sidewalk or car. Even a very friendly large breed dog can be alarming to some prospective buyers and any dog is a distraction. Showings don't take long, so if you can conveniently do so, taking a walk or drive gets you both out of the house and out of the way -- and ensures your home is the true focus of the visit.
Rely on a neighbor: If you have a neighbor, friend or family member nearby that can pet sit for an afternoon, this is a good time to visit. Your pet will benefit from the attention and fresh environment and you won't have to worry about them getting out or alarming a buyer.
Consider boarding: If your agent is holding an open house, consider boarding your pet on the big day. You won't have to worry about finding a place for them to stay and you'll be able to show the home with confidence. If you do have many people walking through the house, even a friendly pet can be overwhelmed, so this is often the best solution for all.
Securing your pets while your home is shown will give you peace of mind about their safety and will also allow the viewers to envision themselves living there without distraction. It also gives you a chance to check all latches, doors and gates before returning your pet to their normal space -- prospective buyers could leave a door, gate or window open, allowing for an easy escape route for a curious pet. Take these simple steps before a showing and you will benefit in several key ways -- and your pets will, too.