We all know that moving is considered one of life's most stressful events. Between preparing your home for photos and showings, dealing with negotiations and packing, it's a hectic time. Since they can't voice their concerns, don't forget one member of the family that shouldn't be overlooked during this whole process – your four-legged friends!
The first thing to do is figure out a plan for keeping pets busy during showings. Animals are distracting and you don't want there to be anything sidetracking a potential buyer. Most realtors agree that pets (cats and dogs) should be removed from the home during a showing or open house.
Things to consider:
• Take your dog for a long walk or to a leash-free park and let them meet some new friends during showings.
• If weather conditions are mild, consider a temporary pen outdoors. Your real estate agent will alert other sales people showing the home that your pet will safely stay in the pen. You can purchase a 6' × 6' pen that can go with you when you move. Temporary pens keep pets out of the rest of your backyard and away from landscaping while unsupervised.
• Keep in mind that even when your pet isn't in the house, signs of their presence linger. Make sure you vacuum every day: pet hair is a major turnoff to most potential homebuyers. And keep the litter box squeaky clean and out of sight. If you notice a lingering pet odour, simmer a couple cinnamon sticks and orange peel in water for 30 minutes before showings.
• If your realtor has scheduled an open house, arrange to have your pet stay at a friend or family member's house, or have them boarded at a kennel.
Moving day itself will be stressful for pets, so plan ahead to minimize the trauma. Book them into a kennel for the day or arrange to have them stay with a family member. If they have to stay with you, keep them in a quiet room away from the action. Once in your new home, set them up with familiar belongings in one small area as they slowly adjust to their new surroundings.
You may also want to read our article on how to set the right selling price for your home.