As a lifelong pet lover working in a city where there are more dogs than children, I am always willing to go out of my way to make sure that my clients’ dogs and cats are safe, secure and as stress-free as possible during the listing and sale process. Here are a few tips that have worked well with pet-occupied listings:
1. I’d like to meet your cat or dog before I show up for the first showing. That introduction could be the difference between your dog thinking: “There’s a burglar!” and “There’s the lady who pets me and lets me shed all over her black pants!” Unless you have an attack cat, the introduction isn’t so much for my safety as to de-stress your drama queen kitty who might not like strangers.
2. On broker’s tour days and open house days, if possible, take Fido to Crissy Field or Fort Funston or wherever your favorite doggie hangout is. If your schedule doesn’t allow for that, can Fido go to doggie day care? Or hang out at a friend’s house? The reasons for this are twofold: some potential buyers just don’t like dogs, and if a dog is home, they won’t stick around long enough to check out your house. It’s also safer for your dog — if he’s not home, there’s no chance that someone will accidentally let him loose.
3. If your cat isn’t as portable as your dog and is an escape artist, let’s plan for her to be in her crate during all showings. If she’s friendly and will let me place her in her crate, I’ll show up early for every appointment and make sure she’s safe. If she will use me as a scratching post if I try to put her in jail (I mean, her crate), then it would be best for you to lock her up before you leave (as long as she won’t be locked up all day, of course). Presumably even a kitty who won’t let me put her in a crate would let me open the door and let her out. Done and done.
4. If you have an un-crate-able cat and/or no good options for taking your dog with you, I recommend securing them, either behind a gate or in a closed room (perhaps a laundry room) that will be comfortable for them.
5. And when all else fails, remember that when Matt and I list your home, there are two of us, so one of us can do the showing and the other can take your pup around the block.
Have any other pet-related questions? Let me know!