We are planning to list our home and are wondering what we do with our dog and cats when we have showings. Gillian
With my recent acquisition of a stray kitten and as a long time owner of several beloved pooches, my answer comes to you with understanding and experience.
The best thing for your pets is to have them out of the home during showings however, that is not always possible. It is a balance trying to do what is best for your pets and still give your home the best chance to sell.
Animals like routine and random strangers coming into the home can be stressful to them. Many pets will exhibit what is termed ‘displaced behaviour’ when under stress. One recent client’s gentle senior lab, who had not chewed since being a pup, began gnawing the stair railings. Stress and stress related behaviour could be reduced by crating your pet before a showing. If your pet is accustomed to a period of confinement in a crate, showing your home will be easier for your pet and better for showing your home. Most animals feel safe in small spaces so confinement to a crate or a pen truly works with the natural instincts of your pet. However, if crating is not possible then confinement to a laundry or bath area with a ”do-not-disturb” note posted is an option. If your pet is not crate trained then it is possible to teach “an old dog new tricks.” Introduce the crate before you put your home on the market. Here are a couple of links to good articles on crate training.
Don’t let your pets be a distraction to the sale of your home. A few weeks ago, I was showing out of town buyers some homes. We had many houses on the list and only a few minutes for each. We entered this one house and closed the screen door – all of a sudden, there was a flash of black shooting down the hall then a Splat- Bang- Slam. I turned to my clients and said, “What was that?” – She said, “The cat landed on the screen and opened the door”. Needless to say we didn’t spend any time looking at the home instead we were focused on catching the cat. ) Shocking, as it may be… not everyone enjoys Felix rubbing up against their leg while viewing your home. Many people have allergies or fears of animals – for these people the less they see of pets the more at ease they are in your home and the easier it is for them to it as their home
Love me love my dog? I can tell you a common thing buyers do when they first enter a home is sniff the air-it’s not good if that sniff is followed by a “what’s that smell?”– And usually they’re not referring to your prize rose garden. Potential buyers might be put off if they are unaccustomed to pet odour. I know, your dog/cat/ferret is super clean (so is mine… but really, we are just used to the “distinctive” odour of our pets). Remove smelly pet beds, clean and remove litter boxes –Smell is a trigger for memories- make your home trigger a pleasant one. That being said be careful with stong smelling substances that mask odours – you may turn off a potential home buyer that has allergies or give the impression you are hiding something worse than a smelly litterbox.
To sum up- have your pets comfortably confined or absent during showings-make buyers feel welcome- for greater success at quickly selling your home. Good Luck Selling Rebecca ( Fifi and Phoenix)