Litchfield County real estate information, local events and more.


You love your pets, to the buyers it's stink, stank and stunk!

Litchfield county real estateSelling your home in New Milford, Litchfield County, CT with pets? Pets and real estate, they can be like water and oil if you aren't careful. I know my old pooch, before he moved on, smelled. And it wasn't a pleasant smell either, trust me on that. There was no doubt, in the words of the Grinch, stink, stank ,stunk! And there was not much we could do about it. (We never told him either) But I wasn't selling my house. Wet dogs, old dogs, dogs that have been skunked... they smell. Clean, dirty, old, young, some buyers are very sensitive to dog odors.

And then there is the cat box issue.

The hardest thing for you may be to smell it yourself. Bring someone over, ask your agent, but be prepared for the answer. You need to know the truth. I hope they don't wrinkle their nose and run out of the house screaming, there are far better ways to deliver the bad news. For instance, yes, your house does smell like pets.

Steel yourself, hear the truth, know it is not a bad reflection on you or your beloved pet. It is just a fact, a problem to solve.

There are many products out there that can help. Go to the pet store and ask, try your vet as a resource. And whatever you do, don't try to mask the odor with smelly candles or heavy fragrances. Try something like Zero Odor, I have found that is very effective in the eradication of smells. It can be a bit pricey, but in the scheme of things it is well worth it.

Important things to remember when selling your home in Litchfield County when you have pets in residence.

  • Pets get very upset when strangers come and go out of their home
  • Many people are very sensitive to pet odors that you may not realize exist
  • Barking dogs are a turn off
  • Cats who are escape artists can get out with the best agent
  • Dogs that are left running lose can turn away potential buyers

Make arrangements for your pets while your house is listed. If you can't be there, ask a neighbor if they can take the dog out for a while, ask your agent. Crates are wonderful, but if the dog is going to bark the whole time while the house is being shown, forget that.

Pets are part of our families and can often present very special difficulties when putting your home on the market. Make sure your understand the risks, the potential issues that could arise. And be prepared to hear that Fido does indeed smell!

Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


 Search homes for sale in Litchfield County, CT.


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 15 commentsAndrea Swiedler • March 26 2012 08:28AM


Andrea, I agree selling a home with pets can be challenging. Some pet owners' homes do stink to others. Thanks for the tip about Zero Odor. Might come in handy sometime. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 8 years ago

I showed a house yesterday with dogs & cats. No evidence of the cats, but new puppy had left very large puddles & packages near the back door.  The "house sitter" was home at the time.  What's wrong with this picture? :-(

Posted by Gayle Causey (formerly with Keller Williams Realty Parishwide Partners) about 8 years ago

Excuse the pun, but your post is "spot on"!

I previewed a home over the weekend that had been more or less completely destroyed by pets urinating on flooring and carpets. The place was bank owned and it probably needs massive remodeling and some flooring demolition to get the smell out.

Posted by Eric Kodner, Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island (Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes) about 8 years ago

I have to agree with pet smells and orders.  It is good to know about Zero Order.  We have a Golden and I have no idea if he smells or not, I cannot tell as it is all normal with me.  I do have to say though that this weekend as we were painting baseboards that I had washed and cleaned...I could not believe the amount of dog hair that hides in the corners of carpets. Hopefully no one else has noticed this espescially as much as I clean and vacuum. Thanks for the post.

Posted by Mary Stewart, Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas (HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone) about 8 years ago

Excellent ideas Andrea.  I showed a home yesterday that stank so bad we had to leave quickly.  The owners remodeled part of the home but left all the old stinky cat smelling carpet.  It would have been so inexpensive to clean up that issue which would help tremendously on getting that home to  SOLD.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) about 8 years ago

Cats and dogs are not the worst. As we learned with my son's rental - iguanas are the worst! He had a tenant who set up an iguana cage against a kitchen wall - after she left he had to replace part of the sheetrock - NOTHING would get that smell out.

He'll still rent to a person with a dog - because we think pet lovers are good people - but no reptiles!

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 8 years ago

Andrea, people may love their pets, but when trying to sell their home that smell has to go otherwise the house won"t.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 8 years ago

Oh, this is such good advice, Andrea! I have one listed right now with two resident dogs who are nice, but smelly. I have told the owner about the problem, and she bathes them regularly, but the smell is still there. I think she is used to it, so she doesn't notice the smell. I will have to get some Zero Odor for her - thanks for the tip!

Posted by Rose King, Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area (David Tracy Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Andrea - yes, the porblem is that odor is the house ordor and those who live there do not fee it. They often just do not know that there even is the odor, they got use to it...

As for the means of getting rid of it, Google it. We had this problem with one condo, and checked Google and found a very simple solution to the problem, very inexpensive, using baking soda and something else, worked perfectly and cost pennies

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) about 8 years ago

As a pet owner, one cat now, but I have had as many as four, I know exactly what you mean. The odors are very apparent, especially when you don't live in the house.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 8 years ago

Andrea, I am laughing so hard!  I can smell kitty litter in any house I walk into that has it - except my own.  And I gotta say that mine gets really rank.  Of course, Willie the Labradoodle smells just fine.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (Redfin) about 8 years ago

Pamela, I had listed one house when I was sick and never smelled a thing! When all the agents came through on Caravan they blasted me, but I still couldn't smell it, LOL.

Another great product for kitty and doggie accidents is Natures Miracle, that is great stuff!

Gayle, LOL, there is a whole lot wrong with that picture! They need to fire the house sitter for sure. Wow!

Eric, LOL, pun forgiven! Lime also works I have heard, but probably a demo is in order.

Mary, I know my poor pooch stunk, he had skin problems in the last few months that were.... not pleasant. But we lived with it and never said a word to him. Try that, or try Natures Miracle.

Anna Banana, I have run out of a few homes for that reason myself. It won't put a sold sign on the house!

Marte, my daughter had one, you are so right. Elliott STUNK! I was livid when she moved home with him, LOL. I didn't shed tears when he passed on, and took a lot of work to get rid of the smell.

Ed Ed Ed, you are so so so right!

Rose, my pleasure! Hope it works.

Jon, I have done that, even used it on my dog when he went on a date with a skunk. There are lots of ideas and good ones too, many worth a try. Next time I will remember baking soda and something else... LOL

Jim, it is funny, isn't it? I guess we just get immune to our own pets stink, LOL.

Pat, of course Willie the Labradoodle doesn't smell bad... bite your tongue! But yes, kitties are such an issue. But not our own of course... Glad you got a laugh!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 8 years ago

Hey Andrea!  I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  Have a great week.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (Redfin) about 8 years ago

Andrea- great post and you are absolutely right... we all love our pets but when we're buying a home we don't want any hint that a pet lives there.  And we become immune to our own precious one's odors, so get a neighbor, friend or your Realtor to "stick their nose in."

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 8 years ago

I have a buyer client know who is very sensitive to smells.  So as soon as we open a door he knows whether there has been or is a pet in the house.  It's an immediate NO.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) about 8 years ago