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.
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