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An important step in the process of selling your home is taking a look at your property to find things that may not appeal to buyers or something that could distract from a showing. Among that list are your pets and their accessories.

Of course, your pets are beloved members of your family, but keep in mind that potential buyers aren't always animal people. Even if they are, you want their attention to be focused on your property and not on the dogs or cats that live there.

Repair Damaged Areas

Pets, especially larger ones and those that roam freely through your house, can cause minor damage over the years. Maybe a dog has scratched on a door, or a bird has dug his or her claws into a countertop. These minor issues can stand out to a buyer, so make sure to check your home to identify stains that didn't fully come out and surfaces that have been chewed on, scratched or dented. It's a good idea to have a contractor touch up any areas that you can't easily fix on your own.

Clean up Before a Showing

As you straighten things up in your house, watch out for your pet's belongings. Things like chew toys, leashes, beds or water bowls might be on the floor. Pick these up, and make sure pet gates or litter boxes aren't blocking access to stairways, closets or other parts of your home. Vacuum rooms that are frequented by your pet to remove any stray kibble or litter. If your pet sheds, check that there isn't any fur on sofas or chairs.

Find Care for Your Pets

For small pets that are contained in a cage or aquarium, leaving them where they are during a showing is usually fine. But for larger pets like dogs or cats, you'll need to find a place for them to go while your house is being shown. Some options are to pay for boarding at a vet's office, or for a friend or neighbor to take care of them during showings.

Tell Your Real Estate Agent About Your Pets

Tell your real estate agent that you have pets, and explain if you need a few minutes notice before a showing so a neighbor can stop by to get them. If you have small animals that are staying in the house, let the agent know about those too, and show him or her where the cages are located. Be sure to mention any instructions the agent should be aware of; for example, if a light needs to stay on over an aquarium, tell your agent so he or she won't inadvertently switch it off.

Selling your home when you have pets can be hectic, but once it's over, you and your pets will be able to enjoy your new home.

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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