Steve and I were preparing for our next open house and we were wondering what we should do with all of our animals, if we had an open house on our own home. Our family loves animals dearly; I’ve had dogs as long as I can remember. Presently, we have two beagle-labs, two dachshund-shih tzus and a west-highland terroir-poodle. Our little bundles of joy are pictured below, each with their own unique personalities.
As much as we love animals and treat them like family, others may be turned off at the signs of pet ownership – such as the smells, dander, and the animal’s necessities. When preparing for an open house, it is important to not cause lots of unnecessary stress for the animals. Moving can be very stressful for a dog, with multiple people coming in and out of your house, and new sights and smells at your new home. Being well prepared for a house showing will make your experience stress-free for you, your pets, and potential buyers.
Firstly, it is important to have any odors eliminated from your house. Get fur off furniture, make food and elimination area clean and pick up any toys. Consider neutralizing sprays, like the people in the Febreze commercials, pet odors are something you could be “nose-blind” too, but anyone walking into your house could smell them right away. Neutralizing sprays help to eliminate any odor, but are usually safe for people with allergies.
An average open house lasts for 3 hours, to allow for good exposure of your property. It is important to keep your pets out of the house during the viewings. Seeing a dog can make some buyers uncomfortable, even if your dog is friendly. If you have as many dogs as us, cramming everyone into the car and keeping them calm the whole time would be a challenge. You can consider hiring a dog walker or someone to watch your pets for you, possibly a neighbour, or a local kennel that can be on call if you are not available during the showing hours. Many local high school students are looking to do some volunteer hours, and watching your animals for a few hours would be beneficial to you and helpful for somebody else.
As pet owners, the presence of animals during home buyers can affect the experience for buyers and ultimately, their impression of your property. It is a good idea to advise buyers that they are viewing a home with pets, that way, they’ll be more forgiving if they see evidence of an animal, catch a whiff of a smell they aren’t used too, or see some hair floating around.
If you have any other ideas we would love to hear it. You can email us or leave a comment in the comment section below. Thank you!
Pictured from Left to Right: Socks, Cinnamon, Buddy, Fireball, Baby