Pet Owner's Selling Tips

Keeping a house in showing ready condition can be complicated but it's even more tricky when you have pets. 

At Charlotte and The Lake we see a lot of homes and we've seen buyers turned off by homes with pets for a number of reasons.  Check out our tips for making sure that Fluffy and Fido aren't the reason that you lose a buyer!


  • Odor -  Before you list your house it's a good idea to ask your agent to be really honest with you about whether there's a dog odor in your house.  Chances are that you don't notice it but even animal loving buyers will.  Having your carpets and soft furnishings professionally cleaned can really help with home odors.  You should also plan to clean or replace your pet's bedding and may want to add extra baths to your dog's routine.  
  • Bedding/Food - Multiple beds and food dishes should be streamlined and organized so that they don't clutter an otherwise well staged home. 
  • Crated Dogs - Dogs should be removed during showings whenever possible but if your pet will be at home you should make sure that this information is included in the showing instructions.  It's best that they be crated as even friendly dogs can be un-nerved by strangers. Restricting your dog to the yard, garage or to one room isn't the best solution as it does limit a potential buyer's abillity to see the whole home.  
  • Pick Up - Make sure that poop is scooped in your yard when the house is available for showings.   


  • Odor - Litter box odor is the worst problem with cats and it's important to be diligent with scooping so that this isn't a turnoff for buyers.  Adding a plug in air freshener to the room with the litter box is probably a good idea. 
  • Allergies - Some potential buyers may be allergic to cats so it's important to keep on top of dusting and vacuuming so that pet dander is kept to a minimum. 
  • Scaredy Cat or Houdini?  If you have a cat who hides in a closet and may surprise a buyer, or a cat who just can't wait to escape - make sure that the showing instructions let agents know about the issue.  Additional notes placed in the house at all exits are a good idea if your indoor cat is desperate to be outdoors.  
  • Clutter - Large cat furniture and toys should be stored away if possible as it can distract from the look of your home.  


  • Noise - Noisy birds can be very distracting during showings and agents should be advised in showing instructions if they need to be prepared for this.  Containing a bird to one room is helpful for overcoming this.  
  • Debris - Bird cages should be kept clean along with the surrounding area.


  • Odor - Keep cages extra clean while your house is listed.  
  • Aggression - If you have an unusual pet which may attract unwanted attention from buyers it's wise to leave a note that the pet cage shouldn't be disturbed or attempts made to pet the animal. 

Exotic Pets

  • Fear Factor - Many buyers (and agents!!) have fears and phobias around snakes, lizards, spiders etc..  I recommend that these pets are sent on vacation wherever possible during showings.  


  • Cleanliness - Make sure fish tanks are clean and attractive during showings.  

If you're not sure about how to manage your pet during your agent should be able to help you work through the challenges.  Charlotte and The Lake's agents take special care to address your concerns about pets and make sure that showing agent's have all the information they need to ensure their buyers have a successful showing at your house.

Charlotte and the Lake

Louise Norton
(704) 408 0733

PO Box 481487, Charlotte NC 28269

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