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What Dog Owners Should Know About Home Buying and Selling Etiquette

We often think about the concept of dog etiquette in relation to our interactions with friends, family, strangers at the park, and other dogs we encounter on our daily walks. But one realm where people may not think about the importance of proper dog etiquette is real estate. Many of us buy and sell homes and many of us own one or multiple dogs. Here’s what you need to know about canine interactions during the home buying and selling process.

Dogs don’t belong at open houses

An “open house” showing means that anyone can come by and look at the home in question. Some people take that “anyone” to mean their canine companions. From both the buyer and seller’s side, having dogs at an open house is a big dog etiquette faux pas.

If you’re attending an open house for a home you’re interested in buying, leave your dog at home. If you feel it’s important to bring your dog along, get the ok from the homeowner and realtor before doing so. If you spot an open house your want to check it out while out walking the dog, take your dog home first and go back. People have allergies and to put a finer point on it – not everyone likes your dog.

Get your dog out of the house for showings

Whether it’s an open house or your realtor is showing your home to a prospective buyer, it’s your job as a seller to make the home as attractive as possible. Sure, any buyer will know (thanks to disclosures) that your home has been inhabited by a dog. But that doesn’t mean you need to shove that fact in their face. If you know someone is coming to look at your home, take your dog out of the house for a bit. Take a walk. Take them to a dog-friendly (and fun!) location like one of the many fenced-in dog parks in the area, a bar like The Homestead or Holy Water, or a restaurant like Park Chow or MoMo’s patio.

And before you leave, don’t forget to remove as much evidence of dogs as you can. Deodorize your carpets, rugs, and furniture. Vacuum up hairs. Use candles or plug-in air fresheners to get rid of some of that dog smell. You may have become accustomed to it, but a potential buyer may be turned off by a heavy dog odor.

Moving day is not very dog-friendly

Moving day is no fun for humans – and it’s even less fun for dogs. Imagine someone raiding your home and taking everything and you have no idea why they’re doing it. How stressful! It can be even worse if you hire movers, as strangers inside the home can upset many dogs. You should plan to remove your dog from the chaos of the move if you can. Technology is making it easier for you to do this, as apps like Rover connect you with local dog lovers willing to take care of your companion for either the duration of a walk, for a day, or even overnight if need be.

Many of us are attached to our dogs and there’s nothing wrong with that. They are a huge part of our lives. But there are certain times when it’s bad manners (and even detrimental to your dog itself) to involve them. Buying and selling a home is one of those times. Do what you can to keep your dog as far away from the fray as possible – whether it be a showing, an open house, or moving day.

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