When it comes to having your home up for sale, pets can provide a bit of a complication. While everyone loves their own pets—seeing a pet in a home you are considering buying can be distracting, intimidating, and can serve as a reminder that the house is a home to someone else (and the pet!). They also leave hair and their scent throughout the home—even if you do a deep cleaning, the sight of a pet could bring imagined associate smells.

So, to make sure your home sells and your pet causes minimal interruption to the process follow these few tips.

  • Get a sitter. Check with neighbors or a pet sitter to take your pet for a short period of time to allow showings to go off without a hitch. Don’t have anyone you trust—advise your realtor to only offer showings at times convenient for you to take your pet with you. Planning in advance to arrange care for your pet during showings or scheduled open house can minimize interruption to the selling process. In the event you have to leave a pet at home, keep them confined in a crate or blocked off area of the home and warn your realtor. Also make sure your homeowners insurance has a pet policy just in case there is a mishap and an accidental bite, jump, scratch, or other injury.
  • Clean up the yard. It is likely that a potential buyer will check out the property around your house. Check for any holes and fill them—this not only makes you yard lok nicer but minimizes liability risk if the buyer trips. Also do a quick clean up of any pet mess prior to each showing to keep the buyer from stepping in something undesirable (and risking them bringing it inside).
  • Replace patchy grass. It is common for homeowners who have a pet that uses the restroom outside to have patches of brown and yellow grass. Before pictures are taken of your property, replace really bad patches with new sod. Then, maintain your efforts by training your beloved pet to find a new favorite bathroom spot in an out of the way spot or go for walks to minimize your yard being used.
  • Eliminate odors. This will be hard to do if you are staying at home until your house sells as your pet will likely be with you. Even if you don’t think it smells, it’s possible you are just used to the scent and don’t notice it. You can eliminate the bulk of the smell by having a professional cleaner come to take care of the carpet, hard floors, upholstery, and rugs. Clean cages, tanks, and litter boxes frequently and thoroughly to minimized odors spreading again. Brush and bath your pet outside and make sure they are fully dry before coming back in—or drop them off at the groomers.
  • Clean up the hair. Step up your cleaning game to minimize pet hair as much as possible. If you currently vacuum once a day, make it twice. Also, wipe surfaces, dust, and vacuum prior to each showing to ensure your home is as pet hairless as possible.
  • Hide or pack your pet’s belongings. Anything you don’t need (like extra toys) should be packed and kept out of the way. Other items that are needed regularly like food and water bowls, leashes, and favorite toys should be stashed and hidden prior to any showings.