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To Lock Up or Not To Lock Up Pets, That Is The Question

Apartment interior showing living and dining room

Like many people, I LOVE Pets! I can’t remember any time in my life growing up that we didn’t have either a dog, cat, fish, bird, turtle, or snake in our home. My family loved pets and had a heart for rescue animals. I also have allergies so the best way for me to enjoy my little fur babies and not sneeze my head off is to clean, clean, and clean my home all the time. I seriously used to vacuum my home sometimes twice a day to get rid of the pet hair and pet dander but it was worth it. Now there are great inventions like Rumba that can save me all that work. Needless to say, I’ve encountered a new issue in my adventures of selling homes – to lock up or not to lock up your pet for home showings with strangers.


Being a pet lover, I take pet safety to heart and I believe in safety for both the pet and the human is being responsible. I’m always about preventing an issue before there is one, especially when you have strangers walking through your home.

Everyone has had different experiences with pets; some good and some not so good. I don’t want to assume that a person has a good experience with a pet, only to have them freak out or break out in hives as we walk into a property.

My rule of thumb for anyone who is selling their home is to tell their listing agent to make sure that you require at least 24-hour notice for all showings of your home. This will give you at least a day notice to make sure you have enough time to have your pet secured in their kennel, or have a dog walker, friend or a trusted neighbor come walk your dog during the time of showing. I always prefer removing the dog or cat from the premises instead of putting them in a kennel.

Young woman with Beagle dog in the park

Most dogs are territorial by nature and having strangers walk through their “territory” can stress out the animal. If putting the animal in their kennel, then I suggest you place the kennel in the basement so that the potential buyers and their agent can freely tour the main levels of the home with minimal distractions from the animal.

When a real estate agent enters a new home for sale in the MLS there’s a section where they can put notes that are ONLY seen by other real estate agents. I make a habit of discussing the protocol about the pet with the owners and put that information in the “Agent Remarks” section of the listing. This allows the buyer’s agent to know what they will expect when they walk into the home with their client. This will also help the buyer’s agent to be more conscientious of doors being left open and having the pet “escape” from the home to be lost, injured, or possibly worse.

As a broker, I find that the best way to help sell my client’s home is to make have the home available for any qualified person to be able to view. People with pet allergies or phobias usually will not enter the home if they know there is a pet in the home. As a real estate broker, I would rather know the pet information before I schedule the showing so that my client can decide if they still want to view the home or not. By being well informed, it not only protects the animals of the home but it doesn’t waste anyone’s time getting to the property and not being able to enter due to an unexpected pet on sight.

high five with dog and human

Seller’s main goal is to sell their home so let’s set up the showing environment to be a pleasant experience for everyone and hopefully, the potential buyer will fall in love with the home.

Written By: Shena Omotola, Dream Home Specialist & Broker Owner of Skyward Realty – Skyward Realty services Chicago, Suburbs, and Northwest Indiana

P.S. Feel free to email me any questions. I’m always here to help.

Shena Omotola


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