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September 10, 2010

Do Pets Help or Hinder a Property For Sale?

Mrs. Big Nate and I are in the process of building a house with Sabal Homes in the brand new community of Mahogany. We love the look and feel of this neighbourhood and can’t wait to move into our new digs!

Currently we are also trying to sell our existing home in Auburn Bay. Selling in this market is no fun and quite scary to say the least! But our realtors tell us we are priced correctly and our home shows very well. I have to admit, the Mrs. and I keep our home in mint condition. Not just because we are selling but because we are two adults with a tendency for cleanliness and organization. We are maybe even a little freakish about it. Yes we are perfectionists and spend a lot of time keeping our place very clean and pet hair free. Many people say they wouldn't even know we owned pets if they weren't standing right there in front of them.

We have had our home listed for over three weeks now and had only three showings so far. Nothing came of the showings, the buyers simply weren't interested and we’re not really sure why. It could be any number of reasons, the main one being that there is so much inventory to choose from right now. We are however, a little paranoid about the fact that we have pets. Could this be turning people off? Are buyers continuing to search until they find a pet-free home?

I feel almost everybody loves pets except the home buyer! We as home sellers who adore our pets have a hard time imagining the negative attitudes others harbor against pets. So, while this might be a bitter pill for Mrs. Nate and I to swallow, we have tried our best to mitigate the signs of our pet’s existence.

I did some research to find some reasons why home buyers don’t like pets. In response to the perceptions buyers have of pets we have done everything we can to prepare our home for sale.


  • Nervousness. Pets make some people very uncomfortable. Not everybody grew up with a family pet or enjoys outings at the zoo.

  • Fear. Real and irrational. It's not only dogs that instill fear in people. All kinds of silly wives' tales and superstitions involve cats.
  • Our pets aren't their pets. They imagine ours bite, jump, vomit, claw, spit-up hairballs or are just plain hyper and bad.

Our Solution

We take the dogs away during a showing and lock the three cats in the basement (sorry guys). The preferred thing to do would be to relocate our pets while we’re on the market but that just isn’t an option for us nor would we consider it unless we were extremely desperate. Mrs. Nate is excellent at keeping the kitty litter boxes clean and fresh. We put our bedside doggy stairs away, hide the pet beds and move the kitty condo downstairs too. Our house is extremely clean and smells that way. Smell can be the biggest turn off to any buyer regardless of what is causing the odour.

So we cross our fingers and pray to the real estate gods in hopes that someone will buy our little home nestled in the heart of Auburn Bay.

If you or someone you know is looking a house feel free to visit our MLS listing and contact our realtors. We need pet lovers to visit; they won’t mind a couple Mojo nose prints on the window.

My apologies for the shamelss plug!

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