As you well know by now, I am a borderline crazy animal person. I have two dogs and two cats, oh yeah, and two foster cats in my guest room. But, I am well aware that when it comes to selling houses, it is usually best if pets arr not seen, or smelled, especially smelled.
A friend recently sent me a link to a New York Times article on how pets can help sell. The article talks about a few rare instances where having the right pet coincide with the right buyers can make a very positive and lasting impression. For some, an animal makes a place feel homey and welcoming. I’ve had a few of these experiences myself.
Many years ago, I listed a lovely, spacious home in Portland’s Eastmoreland neighborhood. My clients had two very large, very sweet and friendly male cats. These cats were ambassadors for the house. They’d tour with prospective buyers; rolling on the floor here and there to slow folks down and help them really feel the space. The eventual buyer was moving from Switzerland, and choosing to leave behind her aging cat rather than subject her to the stresses of quarantine. Was there any way, she asked, that the sellers might actually consider leaving the cats (her realtor was embarrassed to ask) My clients, as it turned out were moving to the east coast, but would be travelling awhile before settling down. They had been worried about how to transition “the boys”, and yes, they would consider leaving the cats. Now it is kind of odd that animals are considered belongings, or personal property. So just as our transaction included the refrigerator, it included the cats.
About ten years later (okay, so animals selling houses doesn’t happen everyday), I was showing a good friend and client several houses in Irvington. The kind of day when we really saw too many houses and they all blended together. Somewhere in the middle we say a great house, only two bedrooms, but it had a wonderful, spacious kitchen, sizable living room and other cool features. It also had a very large, very friendly, very white dog. The dog was quite energetic, so it wasn’t as if he was just some beautiful poser in the corner. He was front and center. And while my client didn’t even have a pet, the dog made a great impression and helped us remember this house distinctly. This house did NOT blend in with the others. My client bought that house (it was 1996 as he closed just days after my daughter was born), and to this day we still talk about ” that great dog”.
Never underestimate the power of a friendly, furry face.