Conventional wisdom states that when selling a house, it’s best to keep a few things out of sight and out of the way of prospective buyers, such as a pet. In fact, having a pet on the premises, much less leaving evidence of the existence of a pet in the house is considered an ill-advised move. Standing instructions are issued to homeowners by brokers to remove the animal from the scene during times when prospective buyers are most likely to check the place out.
Pet lovers, take no offense at this. You shall be vindicated later in the article. However, it is a fact that not everybody loves animals the way you do. Only owners are apt to find their pets endearing or interesting. An average visitor looking over your place is most likely to find them smelly and dirty. And if the house hunter suffers from allergies, a pet will only serve to exacerbate the problem and lose you a deal.
However, at the other end of the spectrum, there are brokers who insist that the presence of a friendly pet on the property goes a long way in selling it. Ask Judy Batalion and Jon Lightman, a couple which bought a loft in North Chelsea because they fell hard for an adorable, sociable, beige cat that was present during every visit. He accompanied them from room to room and seemed to be taking them around the place. According to John Lightman, the cat (whose name they still do not know) made the living space come to life and feel homey and lived in. That is what cinched the deal for them.
Working on this principle of tugging at the heart-strings of animal lovers, Barry Silverman, a broker at Halstead, makes it a point to take Sammy, his Jack Russell terrier to photo-shoots of the property being sold. By clicking and uploading cozy pictures of Sammy on the property, Silverman confesses that it helps people remember the listing better. It is not uncommon for him to get enquiries from people who want to visit the house that had the Jack Russell in the pictures.
On occasions that the pet is well behaved and charming brokers bend the rule a bit and have the animal around during showings. And owners go to the length of sending their pet to the spa so that it ends up looking its very best on the D-day. In fact, buyers sometimes get so taken in by the appeal of the animal that they enquire if it is included in the sale of the house. I believe a celebration is called for by the animal lovers in New York.