Kathy Henne: Pause for the paws


With millions of dogs and cats as members of American families, there’s a good chance the you’ve got pets sharing the home you’re trying to sell. Since not everyone enjoys the company of animals, there are some measures you should consider taking before prospective buyers come over for a showing.

Pet odors are the biggest problem sellers face, but they can be easily minimized with thorough cleaning and vacuuming, and vigilant duty with the litter boxes. Black lights are available that help you to pinpoint the origin of any mysterious smells. It also makes a good impression if you pick up and store toys, bedding, and food and water bowls while your home is being shown to buyers.

If at all possible, take your dog out with you when an agent brings visitors, or ask a friend or family member to keep your pet during the showings. This will help reduce the stress on your pet during showings.

Another way to put buyers more at ease with their purchase is to offer to have the carpets cleaned after you move out and prior to the buyers taking possession. Even if you’re certain you’ll remove all evidence of your beloved pets before vacating your home, the buyers may not share your confidence.

Why not offer these gestures of good will, thereby encouraging a better offer from the buyers?

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