Cherie the poodle takes it easy on the sofa with her dad, Larry Stoller, who wears his “poodle jacket” so he can look more like his “daughter.” COURTESY LARRY STOLLER

So what’s the problem with having pets in a house that is for sale?

We all love our pets, most everyone loves pets, but the buyers for your home might not. Having potential buyers look at houses when pets are present in the home is a big no-no.

If you want to get the highest price for your home, don’t let that dog or cat bother your home-buyer prospects. As loveable and well-behaved as your pets are to you, they can be very inhospitable to strangers.

The best thing that you can do is to remove your pets while the house is on the market or being shown. Let them stay with a friend or relative or bring them to pet day care. If this is not an option, take the dog or cat for a walk or a drive when the house is being shown.

It is also important to minimize all negativity that buyers might associate with your pets when viewing your home, even if they don’t see them.

If you have pet stains on the carpet or floors, get rid of them. If you can’t get the stains out, replace the floor covering.

Cat litter boxes, dog’s potty, cat trees and pet toys should be kept out of sight.

Pet odors and smells must be non-existent. Don’t trust your own nose – have a friend do a whiff test. It makes good sense to remove all signs of your pet.

Remove pet photos, doggie doors, food and water bowls, dog or cat hair (vacuum very frequently), cages, carriers, and so forth. First impressions are so very important, so don’t risk turning off an interested buyer.

On a personal note, my wife and I have a very loveable 52-pound standard poodle. Her name is Cherie, and if we ever decided to sell our home, all three of us would probably go on vacation – together!

Larry Stoller is a broker and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry. Larry@RealEstateFive.com, RealEstateFive.com, SunCityOpenHouses247.com