Guide to Moving with Pets
Selling your home can be stressful for you and your pets.
Many homesellers endure significant stress, but such stress can intensify when their beloved pets experience some anxiety as well.
While there is a wide variety of beloved pets within households, this guide is focused principally to our beloved dogs and cats. This emphasis is unsurprising as, according to the American Pet Products Association, 79% of American households have a pet – with 44% having a dog and 35% a cat.
Things to Keep in Mind for Home Showings with Pets
Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realtor and Your Pets
Regardless of your pet or breed, you shouldn’t hire a real estate agent unless you determine that the prospective agent is comfortable around your pets. If they are not, then you have every right to consider this a pet peeve. Although it’s widely known within real estate circles that many buyers have discomfort and some aversion to being around pets – it is also true that an agent who dislikes pets can limit their desire to show your home. Not to mention that pets often sense this discomfort. A real estate professional who is pet avers around your pets as evidence by either their words or body language, should not be the person you rely upon to maximize showings and results.
Staging and Your Pets
When you select an agent, focus on their ability to help you merchandise your home before it’s placed on the market. This should include pet-related home maintenance and marketing. Keep in mind, you’ll need to:
- Regularly clean litter boxes and pet waste – inside and outside. This will ensure buyers have a perception of cleanliness and maintenance regarding your property.
- Treat pet “aromas” to the degree possible. Ask friends or family to inspect your home for questionable odors to which you might have become desensitized.
- Repair pet damage to doors, walls, carpets, hardwood floors, grass, and anywhere your home has been aesthetically marginalized.
Home Showing with Pets
Consider where you feel comfortable keeping your pets during showings. Should you place your pets in a kennel, pet hotel, or with friends? Is it better to move from your home until it’s sold or just during showings? If only during showings, ask for a one-hour minimum advance notice. Also, ask your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network agent what other homesellers have creatively done to pet stage their home.
If your pet will be home during a showing, be sure it is in a secure location and not exuberantly greeting buyers at the door. You can’t afford to guess who loves pets and who doesn’t. If the delivery person doesn’t like pets that may well be their problem. When a buyer is uncomfortable, that could become your problem, meaning a lost sale!
Your Pet’s Size and Showings
A smaller dog might not be an issue to buyers touring a potential home when a property is estate-sized. Alternatively, a Great Dane greeting buyers in a relatively much smaller home may deter buyers. Therefore, you should discuss the issue of relative pet and home size with your agent.
Use “Pet-Friendly” to Your Advantage
Ask your agent if your neighborhood is likely to attract buyers who have pets. If so, in the lifestyle description of your property include how pet friendly the neighborhood is, distance to dog parks and trails, as well as pet hospitals and veterinarians.
Help Ease the Move for Your Pet
+ Make sure you’re aware of pet guidelines for places like condominiums or townhouse communities before deciding where to move (i.e. certain dog breeds not allowed).
+ Learn the local leash and cleanup laws before deciding on a new neighborhood.
+ If possible, bring your dog to the new area before you move to help them prepare for the relocation.
+ Identify a new veterinarian before moving.
+ Ensure all pet identification tags are current with your cell phone number.
+ Consider a microchip to locate your dog or cat if they get lost.
+ On moving day, provide all necessities for your pet inside their crate and place a “do not let out” sign on it. Both cats and dogs can be overwhelmed and depressed transitioning to a new environment, as well as encountering movers and other strangers coming and going all day.
+ Pet-proof your new home.
+ Consider only opening one section of your new home at a time to your pets so they do not feel overwhelmed in their new environment.
+ Try to keep the same routines, such as what time you walk your dog or feed your cat.
A Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder & Company Realtor can help. Forever Agents care about you and your pet. We encourage you to speak with us about any concerns you have in selling your home or moving with your beloved pet.