Ask the Expert – Pets

I am a real estate agent in a rural area, and I know the value of a pet-free property. My understanding is that stagers usually recommend pets to be absent […]

I am a real estate agent in a rural area, and I know the value of a pet-free property. My understanding is that stagers usually recommend pets to be absent when showing property. There are no stagers where I am, so what can I say to my clients to help them understand why this is a good thing? – Beverley S.

Bottom line, Bev? Not everyone loves pets. When there are pets in the family, it is sometimes very difficult for the owners to understand the impact their loved one can have on a potential buyer who is afraid or allergic to pets of any kind. Staging consultants do strongly suggest all pets are removed from the property until after the sale is finalized. Even if Fido is like family, he can jeopardize a sale. It’s at least a 50/50 chance for a s ale if all signs of a pet in the house are not eliminated. As difficult as this may be for the homeowners, it’s one of those items that can eat equity fast if you don’t do it.

Research tells us 50% of people are afraid of animals of any kind, but when it comes to exotic pets including birds, the number increases. Compounding the problem are allergies; if people are afraid they are not likely to want to see your property, but if they have allergies they physically can’t risk it. If pet daycare facilities are not located in your area (business opportunity!) suggest the homeowners ask friends, family or neighbors. Pet stores are sometimes willing to help house exotic pets. Where would the pets go if the family were on vacation?

I think the reluctance for parting with a dog or cat stems from the homeowners thinking the property will take a long time to sell. By reinforcing the message that staging helps secure buyers faster, the homeowners might be more understanding. As a pet owner myself, I truly understand the emotional connection with pets and I also observe the stress my fur baby experiences when there are strangers in my house. The natural instinct is for dogs to protect their owner, so even if they are not aggressive it creates angst for them until it’s over. In the event the seller will not comply, then all you can do is recommend crating the pet or advise of the liability risks involved in the event a buyer is bitten. We can also recommend you consider a bottle of Pure Ayre for your client; the plant enzyme-based product eliminates odors on contact.


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About Christine Rae

Christine Rae blends her passion for the staging and decorating industries, her desire for helping people develop their potential, the thrill of training to the presentation of the CSPâ„¢ workshop. She has honed her skills and built her knowledge through extensive training in a variety of disciplines. During the last five years Christine has trained over 1600 people and in 2004 was recipient of an International Staging Award. Christine believes a crucial part of success as a trainer is to keep your hand in the industry you speak and teach about. This is why she continues to work (outside of training sessions) at building her own staging business, and works with a select group of Realtors® . The best business anyone can have is from a referral - it is an honor and privilege to work with you and your sphere of influence. Wellness with Essential Oils: