I’m selling my house, but I’ve heard that you shouldn’t have a pet around when your home is on the market. Is that true? I don’t want to send my cat away.

When it comes to selling your home, a lot of people focus on making the property attractive. And it’s true that keeping it clean and free of clutter is a good idea. Similarly, pets can bring unwanted odours and shedding fur that could put off would-be buyers.

But, there’s another angle you should also consider. When you’re selling your home, you’re opening up your property to strangers. This is especially true when you’re hosting an open house.

It’s a security risk, which is why I always tell sellers to take basic security precautions like removing and securing valuable items. The safety and security of your pet is also a concern. Would your cat be comfortable with all those strangers wandering around the house? I know mine aren’t. Is there a chance the cat will get outside as potential buyers are coming and going? If they are like mine, they are escape artists and have to be watched carefully. Ultimately, a brief stay with friends or family may be a good idea.

Joseph Richer is Registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). He is in charge of the administration and enforcement of all rules that govern real estate professionals in Ontario. You can find more tips at reco.on.ca, follow on Twitter @RECOhelps or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/RECOhelps.

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