Pets are family, and for many people, they are a huge part of what makes home, home.
Most of us know that a lot goes into selling our home and having pets can add a layer of complexity. Of course, you want to make the sale, but you also want to keep harmony in your home and make the experience as stress-free as possible for your pets.
As Professional, Loving Local Realtors®, our love extends to all areas of our family, especially our four-legged family members! So today, we will give you some tips for listing your home for sale with pets that will help make your experience as stress-free as possible!
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Planning is key in the current market; homes are sitting on the market for longer than they might have just a couple of years ago. Please take a look at our most recent Market Update; depending on your location, some homes can be on the market for as long as 80 days, so it’s wise to go into it with a plan for your pets to avoid prolonged stress for everyone.
Lindsey, who recently sold her home with Faris Team with both a cat and a golden retriever, said,
“Taking the time to plan before our home hit the market and make considerations for their well-being made the experience much smoother for everyone. I don’t think any of our buyers knew we had pets, but we could still keep both happy and comfortable during the process. All because we came up with a solid plan beforehand!”
Scheduled showings will help you prepare, plan and help keep your four-legged family members as comfortable as possible. This is particularly helpful if you have multiple pets, children or other moving parts to coordinate and will help you feel more in control of the situation. It’s best to take the time to ensure that your house is ready for a showing to give buyers the best impression possible.
There are many reasons why having pets around during showings can be disastrous. Not only can they distract from the buyers experiencing your home, but they can also be very stressful for the pet to have strangers wandering around. Does this mean your pet cannot live with you for the duration your home is on the market? Of course not. However, if you have a showing scheduled, it’s important to make arrangements to have your pet relocated to a safe space during that time, whether they spend the day with a family member offsite or, if possible, you take them with you on your adventures.
Many people have varying opinions on this, but sometimes removing your pet from a stressful situation is the kindest thing you can do for them. Since sellers are absent during showings, there is no guarantee that a door may be left open or a negative encounter with the buyer may occur.
Like children, the additional mess will inevitably be involved when we have pets in the home. From tiny paw prints to dog hair, stray kibbles or mangled chew toys, it’s part of what goes into their care and daily life. And while it is certainly no trouble for us as pet owners, unfortunately, all buyers may not agree. Not everyone is an animal lover, and a home with visible signs of pets may turn them off. This is why it’s important to do extra deep cleaning of your home to remove any dander, dirt, pet hair, etc.
Having pets in our home inevitably comes with pet odours too. This is because we love our pets and will even become oblivious to their scent. This is called sensory adaptation. With constant exposure, our noses become less sensitive to smells, so our brains can focus on other things. So, while you might think your house smells fine, it could smell of “wet dog,” and you don’t even realize it!
It’s always a good idea to have someone who doesn’t visit the home regularly (a friend or a neighbour) pop by before listing your home for a “smell check.” This is the best way to get an impartial outside opinion on whether your home still has that lingering pet odour.
Lastly, staying on top of your pet waste, including any in your yard, is also essential. Many buyers will want to walk around the backyard, and the last thing you want is for them to step into something.
Animals are highly sensitive to smell. For example, a dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than a human’s. This is because they use it to communicate with the world around them, other animals, and even themselves. Animals find comfort and security with their own scent. To them, it means safety and home.
Using harsh or fragrant chemicals to clean your home can cause additional stress, particularly on surfaces that they frequent often. Not only that, but many of our everyday cleaning chemicals are toxic and can make your pet sick. Instead, opt for gentle, natural cleaning products in those high-traffic spaces. Unfortunately, good old-fashioned elbow grease works best to achieve that cleanliness without the use of harsh chemicals.
If you’re still living with your pets, it’s a good idea to make a checklist of tasks or essential items to bring with you (and subsequently remove from the home) during a showing. That checklist may include items like:
Vacuum the couch
Pack dog bed, food dishes, and toys
Pack litter box
Put your cat in their carrier
Mop by the front door
Bring treats in the car
Preparing is the best way to ensure the process runs smoothly for you, your pets and the buyers.
Don’t forget to spend some extra time with your pets during this busy time. They are sensitive to our emotions and energy and can likely pick up on any stress or emotions you feel and feel it themselves.
These sorts of activities increase confidence at a time when they need it most. It will also help to tire them out and release any of that stress. There are also many interactive enrichment toys on the market that you can use to play with your pets.
During showings, you can take your dog to a nearby park to play or on a nice walk down their favourite hiking trails. You can park your car somewhere and share a snack or visit a friend or a family member together. It can help turn the experience into a way where you create more memories and strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
If your pet is struggling with the transition during this time, speak with your vet for advice on how you can take additional steps to minimize the stress your pet is feeling. Of course, no one wants to see their furry family members in distress. So, whether they need additional supplements, training exercises or even medication to help them get by, talk to the experts in this area. They have endless resources at their disposal that will help your specific pet through their specific challenge.
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