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Selling a Condo with Cats

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am about to put my condo on the market. How hard it is to sell when you have cats?

I don't want to limit when real estate agents can show the place but I have fears of kitties getting out, potential buyers being allergic, etc. Keeping the place totally clean is also a concern. I don't mind sweeping and vacuuming every day before I leave but I'm just afraid it won't be enough. The cat litter has a mind of its own and ends up all over.

I wish I had a place I could move them to but the BF and I are both trying to sell so we can get a place together. Timing is going to be everything.

Any suggestions or advice would be great. Thanks!
post #2 of 19
I used to be a real estate agent, and cats are definitely a problem. Of course, no house is perfect, and most buyers can make allowances for that.

I don't suppose you have a friend or relative who can take care of them for a while, do you? An alternative is to keep them in a cage, and none of us like that idea. I HAVE had cats scare me by trying to get out when I brought a client into a house.
post #3 of 19
My parents have sold 4 homes as cat-owners, and one of their primary concerns was one you mentioned - the cat possibly getting out during showings. My parents were very firm about this upfront - they would NOT allow the realtor to install a lockbox on the door, and showings were by appointment only, so that my parents could properly contain the cat and tidy up the litter boxes and whatnot beforehand. While this may seem like it can seriously limit your ability to sell, it didn't seem to hurt my parents much. Two of their houses were sold within 1 week of being on the market, and the other two within 3 months. Of course, today's housing market is not so great, so I think the ability to sell quickly will be governed more by the market than the fact that you have cats. Good luck!
post #4 of 19
That is a good suggestion. That way, you can get the cats out of the house before anyone comes in.

Do you know the trick with the vanilla and lemon on a rag?
post #5 of 19
We just Sold my Grandparents House last year. My Sister was living there and she has a Cat and Dog. There were problems. She told them do not show the Bathroom the Pets are locked in there. Well they did and her Cat got outside. Then we told the Agents this have to call before they Show the House.
post #6 of 19
Don't real estate agents contact you first if you are living there to set up an appointment? If so, you'd have time to take the cats in carriers and take them for a ride while the prospective people look at your condo.

And can you keep the litter boxes on washable surfaces rather then carpet? Just do your best to keep the litter off the carpets. And be sure you have scooped or washed the litter pans prior to people coming in.

One trick is to put on a small pot of simmering cinnamon on the stove for 10-15 mins and then take it off - the place will smell like you just got done baking
post #7 of 19
Simmering cinnamon... say that three times fast!

Mike -- vanilla and lemon on a rag, that sounds good. What do you with it?
post #8 of 19
I sold my condo (didn't own a cat at the time) and I wouldn't trust ANY realtor with trying to keep the cat indoors. We had a large number of showings when we were not home and it was not a great experience. I can't even imagine if I had to worry about a cat as well!

If you're in a high demand area, I would move the cat to another home (relative) and show the place for a week and then accept offers on the weekend. Or, as already suggested, only allow them to look at the condo by appointment only and you can contain the cat in the bathroom/bedroom or carrier while you are there to supervise.
post #9 of 19
My Sister did end up riding around with her Cat and Dog after the Cat got out.
post #10 of 19
My parents were able to sell their house in 3 weeks, and we had 2 cats. But our cats were indoor/outdoor. If you have the agent schedule appointments for potential buyers, that will probably be your best bet.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Simmering cinnamon... say that three times fast!

Mike -- vanilla and lemon on a rag, that sounds good. What do you with it?
Just put a few drops of vanilla extract and lemon extract on something like a washrag, and then hold it by one corner and walk through the house twirling it. A little experimentation with this sort of trick can really pay off.
post #12 of 19
I sold a house after 2 days but i was there when the viewings took place. The litterboxes are always up to standard so there were no smells from them, and a quick vacuum around before they came, flick the plug ins on and i was ready for them
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. I have hardwood floors and the litter just scatters. I have mats but I've not been able to really contain it since the kitties love to leap out of the boxes. It's more the "crunch" factor.

I will probably start with the "by appointment only" method for showings but I just don't want to limit my exposure.
post #14 of 19

Bumping up this thread again...we're selling our condo and we have two cats.  They're both friendly, but Luna's very shy and will just make herself invisible.  Albus loves people, so he'll be right by the front door.  Sometimes he gets curious, though, and tries to go out in the hallway.  He's not really trying to get away, so he doesn't move very quick.  If he does get out, he'll be easy to catch....if they notice.  That's the problem- I've closed the door behind me without noticing he ran past me (in my defense, I was carrying a couple bags of laundry!)  If one of our neighbors leaves the front door of the building open, he'll go right outside.

Our house goes live on the market on Monday.  We're short selling, so it's not totally imperative that every molecule of litter be off the carpet and the place smell like roses (though we will try our best to keep it as mess-free as possible); keeping my cats safe in the house is the bigger priority.  We asked our realtor to require several hours of warning before it gets shown, but I'm still trying to figure out what to do when we're not there.  We don't really have another place we can send them and we want to sell the place quickly, so for the time being, we want to make it as available as possible.

One possibility would be to keep them in a cage if we know there's going to be a showing while we're at work...do you think something like this is big enough for two cats for possibly 8 hours:

 

We'd have a litterbox, food and water in there.  We'll probably put it near a window so they can see out.  They get along with each other, so that's not the issue...I'm just worried that it's still too small.  Is it better than risking Albus getting out?  

 

Edited to add: I found that cage on Craigslist for $90, so I'm not too concerned about the cost.  We'd just donate it to the shelter I volunteer at when we're done with it.

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsanders View Post

Bumping up this thread again...we're selling our condo and we have two cats.  They're both friendly, but Luna's very shy and will just make herself invisible.  Albus loves people, so he'll be right by the front door.  Sometimes he gets curious, though, and tries to go out in the hallway.  He's not really trying to get away, so he doesn't move very quick.  If he does get out, he'll be easy to catch....if they notice.  That's the problem- I've closed the door behind me without noticing he ran past me (in my defense, I was carrying a couple bags of laundry!)  If one of our neighbors leaves the front door of the building open, he'll go right outside.

Our house goes live on the market on Monday.  We're short selling, so it's not totally imperative that every molecule of litter be off the carpet and the place smell like roses (though we will try our best to keep it as mess-free as possible); keeping my cats safe in the house is the bigger priority.  We asked our realtor to require several hours of warning before it gets shown, but I'm still trying to figure out what to do when we're not there.  We don't really have another place we can send them and we want to sell the place quickly, so for the time being, we want to make it as available as possible.

One possibility would be to keep them in a cage if we know there's going to be a showing while we're at work...do you think something like this is big enough for two cats for possibly 8 hours:

 

We'd have a litterbox, food and water in there.  We'll probably put it near a window so they can see out.  They get along with each other, so that's not the issue...I'm just worried that it's still too small.  Is it better than risking Albus getting out?  

 

Edited to add: I found that cage on Craigslist for $90, so I'm not too concerned about the cost.  We'd just donate it to the shelter I volunteer at when we're done with it.

 

I've always been in when people look through, but then I work from home, so I see that it does narrow your options.

 

You'll probably get a lot of different opinions on the cat cage.  If it were me, and the only option, I'd do it. Presumably it is only going to be the odd day, not all the time.  I would provide a hidey hole in the cage where no-one can see them.. one each or a shared one depending on their relationship.  and clean litter, favourite food, lots of toys, and a view.  They won't be wild about it, but people need to look through, it seems a good idea. 

 

I don't suppose you'd feel safe asking the estate agent to just leave the cage door open when he leaves and make a run for it   3a.gif

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by materialsgirl View Post

My parents have sold 4 homes as cat-owners, and one of their primary concerns was one you mentioned - the cat possibly getting out during showings. My parents were very firm about this upfront - they would NOT allow the realtor to install a lockbox on the door, and showings were by appointment only, so that my parents could properly contain the cat and tidy up the litter boxes and whatnot beforehand. While this may seem like it can seriously limit your ability to sell, it didn't seem to hurt my parents much. Two of their houses were sold within 1 week of being on the market, and the other two within 3 months. Of course, today's housing market is not so great, so I think the ability to sell quickly will be governed more by the market than the fact that you have cats. Good luck!

 

Good advice. When we first got Hydrox, we lived in a rental where the landlord was trying to find somebody to buy the house. Since we had a lease that contained nothing about selling the house, we were able to say no lockboxes and we wanted a full 24 hours notice for the house to be shown. The landlord was peeved, to put it mildly, but we were adamant that the house would not be shown when we weren't home....solely because we were worried about Hydrox getting out.  That was many years ago, and as materialsgirl said, the selling ability will be governed more by the market than your cats.

 

I wish you the best of luck with your condo. vibes.gif

 

ETA: The cage idea is a good one, at least I think so. You do what you have to do to protect the cats....that's the way it is. I'd sooner see them in a cage than possibly get outside, esp since your cats do get along. Good luck!


Edited by Winchester - 9/29/12 at 3:59am
post #17 of 19
I think the cage is fine. They will survive the odd 8 hours in there, much better than getting lost outside. And they won't hold it against you either. smile.gif Good luck!
post #18 of 19

Thanks everybody!  Yeah, I thought about just locking them in the office (2nd bedroom), where their litter, food and water is anyway, and then it will get opened when the realtor comes through and they can be let out.  The problem is that there's the chance there could be more than one showing in a day, and then they wouldn't be contained for the second one.  

Both cats were rescued from the shelter where I volunteer.  It's mostly cage-free, but both of them were sick at one point before I rescued them, so they've been in a cage smaller than that and survived.

Ok, I'm contacting the Craigslist person!  Any advice on what to clean the cage with when I get it?  Diluted bleach and water?

post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsanders View Post

Thanks everybody!  Yeah, I thought about just locking them in the office (2nd bedroom), where their litter, food and water is anyway, and then it will get opened when the realtor comes through and they can be let out.  The problem is that there's the chance there could be more than one showing in a day, and then they wouldn't be contained for the second one.  

Both cats were rescued from the shelter where I volunteer.  It's mostly cage-free, but both of them were sick at one point before I rescued them, so they've been in a cage smaller than that and survived.

Ok, I'm contacting the Craigslist person!  Any advice on what to clean the cage with when I get it?  Diluted bleach and water?


We always used chlorine at the shelter, but that's a bit full-on (I don't do well with chemicals, and neither may your cats if there's any residue).

I swear by eucalyptus and tea tree oils (diluted, of course).

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