What to do with the Dogs?
If you’re a new agent, there are a few things you may not have considered when you signed up for a career in real estate. How your client’s pets might affect the buying and selling process is likely one of them. Here, we’ll take you through common situations and offer advice on how to deal with dogs in today’s fast-moving real estate market.
Selling/showing a home with dogs
Your first issue here is helping your sellers come to terms with the fact that their dog is a liability. Between unpleasant odors left behind by their beloved pup to the possibility of their docile dog turning anxious and aggressive, having pets on-site is more than just an inconvenience. Talk to your clients about keeping the home clean and reducing evidence of their pet’s presence. If the home has carpet, encourage them to have it professionally cleaned along with upholstered furniture, which can hold on to odor. During the spring and fall, windows can be left open for showings. Martha Stewart offers a number of housecleaning tips for pet owners that can help your client check on dog-related disorder.
Perhaps most importantly, your home sellers should take steps to ensure their dog is not around when the home is being shown. Ask them to consider boarding the dog through the week or only opening the home for showings when they can physically remove him from the property. At the very least, there should be someone available to remove the dog in the case of last-minute showings.
When someone shows up at an open house with a dog in tow
When you’re showing a home, whether privately or during a scheduled open house, there is always the possibility that potential buyers may show up with their own dog. This is problematic on a number of levels, including the potential for the visiting pooch to mark the territory. Ask your sellers their feelings on having a stranger’s dog in the home. There could be issues, such as dog allergies, that make it doubly important that it remain a dog-free zone.
If home buyers do show up to an open house with their pets, you will need to ask them to come back without their canine companion. You can offer to schedule a showing for another time. With the owner’s consent, you may even be able to allow the dog in the backyard, providing it’s fenced and free of other animals.
Marketing your pet-friendly property
Pet owners have unique needs during their home search, according to Redfin. If the home already has features that make it ideal for dogs, use this to your advantage. Dog owners must consider whether the home can keep their pets contained, if the neighborhood offers amenities conducive to an active and animal-loving lifestyle, and if the property is an overall safe environment for their furry friends.
You can cater to your canine-loving buyers by highlighting amenities such as a built-in dog door, fenced yard, and proximity to dog parks and pet stores. Don’t forget to include your own pets in your marketing material if pet owners are a demographic that you’d like to capture. John Kurtz of Dog is Good explains it best, “Dog lovers identify with dog lovers.” And when it comes to selling a potential pet paradise, your Weimaraner might just be your best wingman.
While you can’t force your clients to get rid of their furry family members, you must impart on them the importance of maintaining a safe distance between their pets and their prospective buyers. The same goes for those buyers who believe an open house is an open invitation for their entire entourage. Considering that more than two-thirds of all households have pets, this is a lesson best learned sooner rather than later.
Check out DogEtiquette.info for more information about Man’s Best Friend!
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