As cherished as your pets may be to you and your family, it’s important to remember that not all potential buyers are pet enthusiasts. Some may be allergic to pets and pet dander or may even be fearful of animals. For those reasons, it’s important to take a few simple steps when your home is on the market:
1. If possible, take pets with you when you vacate the home for showings or board them at another location. In situations where pets must stay on the property, make a plan with your real estate professional for safely containing the pets during showings.
2. Be candid with your real estate professional about any past or potential aggressive behavior from pets and have a strategy in place to avoid problems. In some cases, it may be advisable to make arrangements for territorial pets to temporarily live elsewhere while the home is listed.
3. Stock up on pet food and any medicines ahead of listing, so you have ample supplies and one less thing to remember during such a busy time. Be sure to continue with flea and tick prevention, too.
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4. Bathe pets regularly during the listing period and routinely brush them to minimize odors and shedding. You can do this yourself or take the pets to a groomer.
5. If your pets shed excessively, consider investing in a robotic vacuum. These appliances can be programmed to vacuum at set times to help keep your floors, carpets, and rugs clean.
6. To minimize pet odors, wash bedding regularly. If your pets are allowed on upholstered furniture, have those pieces steam cleaned before showings begin.
7. Move beds and pet dishes out of sight for showings or place them in hidden spots.
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8. Clean pet waste from yard, garden, and outdoor areas. There are professional pet waste removal and disposal services that you can hire to take over this task while your home is on the market.
9. Repair and paint any scratches on doors and woodwork. Replace any carpets that have scratches or picks, too.
10. Clean bird cages, fish tanks, and other pet environments daily during the listing period.
11. Make a feeding and care schedule for your household to ensure your pets’ needs don’t get overlooked in the showing and moving rush.
Life can get crazy when you’re selling a home and preparing for a move. Even so, make time each day to walk, exercise, and play with your pets. Giving them regular attention and stimulation will help reassure them during the changes and help keep their behavior more even keel.