Selling With Dogs: Tips From A Pet Parent

By: Dana Gain

Selling With Dogs: Tips From A Pet Parent

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From the moment we first consider moving to a new home, our pets are a key consideration. Will the family dog acclimatize well to the new surroundings? Are we making the right decision?

Assuming we can come to terms with the initial (and normal) uneasiness, other questions will soon surface. For example, will it be any more difficult to sell a home that includes furry family members? 
Key to a successful home sale will be creating a level playing field between your property and other houses on the market. Since home sellers are in competition with each other and no one likes to be inconvenienced by the selling process, your goal as a seller is to get the best price for your home as quickly as possible.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few things to consider before listing your pet-friendly home, what to think about before the showings, and how to plan for moving day. 

Before Listing

Make no mistake, your dog already knows what the visit from the REALTOR® means. If Fido is behaving a little more anxiously than normal the day your salesperson visits, you will quickly realize that this reaction is about more than just a new person visiting the home.
Fido is well aware that something big is coming.

As a pet parent, recognizing and acknowledging that your animal is acutely attuned the shifting energy is a good first step in successfuly navigating the selling process. 

As you begin to pull out the moving boxes and start the decluttering process, keep a close eye on Fido. Offering just a little extra attention and comfort in these initial days will go a long way to soothing your pet’s anxiety. 

Before Showings

As you prepare to welcome buyer visitors into your home, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First of all, hard as it might be to imagine – not everyone is a fan of dogs. For those of us whose lives are so closely intertwined with our animals, it may be difficult to identify with this perspective. 
Nonetheless, you will not want to give potential buyers any reason to choose another home over yours as they view your property.

Importantly, be mindful of pet odours that may deter potential buyers. Before a showing, consider giving any hardwood or tile floors a quick mop with some lavender-scented cleaner right before you leave the house.

Even for homes that do not particularly smell of dogs, it is especially nice for buyers to walk into a home that smells freshly cleaned.

You may also want to consider putting away any dog crates, toys, water bowls and mats. Despite being fully transparent about the fact that you have pets, you may decide it is better not to actively remind a potential homebuyer that dogs live in the home. 
Also, remember to remove any doggie gifts that may be around the exterior of the home. 

It requires just a few minutes to take these extra steps, but in doing so you are increasing your odds that your home will be viewed strictly on its ability to serve the homebuyer’s purposes.

Moving Day

While it will probably not be possible to shield your animals entirely from the stress of moving day, there are some techniques to consider that may help to reduce their anxiety and, subsequently, yours.
First, removing Fido from the house before the big day can be helpful. You may wish to remove your pets from the home the day before moving and leave them to stay for a few days with someone they know and trust. Ideally, to a home your pets have visited before. If other dogs live at that house, even better – they will have friends to play with.
With movers carrying heavy furniture and boxes through the home and the front door open wide for the duration, it is not an ideal environment for our pets. Keeping Fido offsite on the big day will allow you to focus on the demands of moving without your having to worry about him.
Taking this approach also means that you can start getting things organized in the new home before your animal returns. This will help Fido acclimatize and help to reduce his anxiety.

Once Fido arrives at the new house, he will be comforted by the smells of the furniture and your other personal items. To the extent you are able to unpack and get set up before your dog arrives, it will ease both his stress and yours.
Keeping these tips in mind can help lay the foundation for a smooth sale for both you and Fido and help ease the transition to your new home.

With just a little bit of advance planning, selling a home with pet children can go perfectly smoothly for both pet owners and their animals.

*Dana lives with her four shih-tzu children and has moved with these adored angels six times in the past seventeen years.

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