Expert Advice on Hosting an Open House with Dogs

Avoid making an open house “fur paux” with these expert tips.

At Coldwell Banker, it’s clear that we believe a pet is Home’s Best Friend…

And while we truly believe a pet does make a house a home, we wanted to get the inside scoop on proper Open House etiquette for homes with pets. Here is what our Coldwell Banker experts had to say…

“Want to Go Bye Bye?”

Yes, the #1 tip from nearly every one of our agents was “take your pet out of the home during open houses.”  Christina Koch of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate put it best with “No Family Member Left Behind.” And while some may consider finding a “safe room” for their pet, Deborah Wynkoop of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Badenton, FL offers this advice…

Please take your pet with you during an open house; strangers can be very upsetting to your pets even if they are secured in a garage, etc., people want to see the entire property and no matter how careful everyone is, there is always a chance a pet can escape.

Safety and creating a stress free environment for all parties on open house day plays a major factor.  Heather Ostrom of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Roseville, CA echoes Deborah’s Advice…

Nobody wants a prison break of furry critters, nor limiting access to parts the home, it’s best to make a pet family day out of the home. Whether it’s a hike, walk, visit to the (dog) park or friend’s house. This also  helps with keeping all windows “nose-smudge-free.” 

Andree Hurley of Coldwell Banker BAIN in Seattle, Wa rounded out the idea of removing a pet during open houses with this remark:

While crating is a wonderful training tool and can be a humane way to keep a dog contained for a short time, it always causes me sadness to see a crated dog while I am touring. Consider your open house a time for everyone to take time-out to play! Find a new hike, go to a dog park or window shopping!

The Nose Knows

We laugh at the Febreze® commercials that over dramatize common household odors from cooking and pets but during an open house those smells can be a real turnoff for prospective buyers. Patricia “Patty” Spinner of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Westfield, NJ says:

Keep a bottle of Febreze® handy. Even though we don’t notice our own pets’ smells buyers can be very sensitive.

And while you’re at it, pay special attention to putting away dog beds, toys, etc. Not only are these items distracting but they could also cause your open houses guest to have allergy attacks.

And last but not least, some good news for our friends with gills 🙂

Dava Behrens with Coldwell Banker Valley Brokers in Corvallis, OR finished off our survey with…

Fish can stay.

For more expert selling advice click here.

Lindsay is the the Director of Media Engagement for Coldwell Banker Real Estate and manages the brand’s media and social media department. She is also a licensed real estate professional. In 2017 & 2018, she was named a top 20 social influencer in the real estate industry in the annual Swanepoel 200 power rankings.

Lindsay lives in Livingston, NJ with her college sweetheart and now husband Joe and rwelcomed another Joe into her life as she became a mom in June 2016.

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3 Comments

  1. Heather and Steve Ostrom
    March 4, 2015

    Love it and applies to so many sellers (and I know stresses them out) so great to have some ideas … question Lindsay, what does “Rory” think of all of this? Does he have any cat quotes? 😉 Dava Behrens = best answer. “Fish can stay.” So dang funny.

    Reply
  2. Dava Behrens, Broker
    March 4, 2015

    I forgot one other thing. Make sure the pooper-scooper has been deployed before you leave the house… land mines in the yard are not a good experience for anyone.

    Reply
    • Heather and Steve Ostrom
      March 7, 2015

      Wise words @davabehrens:disqus … WISE words. Nobody wants to step in the steamer, and ever worse, risk tracking that back into the seller’s house. Eeek. Everyone loses (and smells).

      Reply

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