We love our furry family members, but not everyone is as fond of pets as we are. So they can present some tough challenges when it comes to selling a home. First, you have to figure out what to do with your pets during showings, and then you have to find ways to help them handle the move. Here, then, are 5 tips to help Seattle area home sellers handle pets during showings and moving.
1. Have a Plan for Pet Evidence
Our first tip to help Seattle area home sellers handle pets during showings has to do with all the pet stuff pet owners typically have around the house. All those pet toys, beds, and food and water bowls – you need to be able to get them out of sight quickly.
“The key to doing this is to have a plan for quickly making that [pet evidence] disappear when a showing is about it happen. Designate a space in the closet (or even under your bed) that you can quickly transfer your pet’s things to when you need to get them out of sight. The same thing goes for other pet-related items like food and water dishes, spare leashes, and anything else that screams ‘a pet lives here!’ This way, your pets will have what they need when they need it, and buyers will be none the wiser when they come through.”
2. Get Them Out During Showings
Another important thing to do to handle pets during showings is simply to get them out of the house.
According to industry experts, “You should never leave your pet home alone during showings since you never know who is coming by. Even if your pet is friendly they may not welcome strangers walking in and out of their space, and in addition to the fear and stress this can put on your pet, it’s also not great for potential buyers either (not to mention that you could be held liable for any per-related injuries that happen on your property).”
Last-minute showings, while inconvenient, do happen. So you need a plan for getting your pets out quickly and what you’ll do with them while you’re out of the house. You could, for example, put the dog on the leash and the cat in the carrier and just hit the road. Or, if the weather is nice, you could take your pet(s) for a walk around the neighborhood. It’s also a good idea to have contact information for a reliable pet sitter if you have to go that route.
“To make sure you have enough time to wrangle your pets prior to showings, request that you get at least one hour’s notice before anyone comes through. Better yet, ask for two or more hours. That way you don’t have to run out in a hurry, and if you need to find a place for your pets to go, you have some time to arrange it.” You can contact a Seattle at (206) 465-7215 for assistance in this regard.
3. Give Them Plenty of Exercise and Attention
In order to handle pets during showings and moving successfully and with little stress, you need to make sure to give them plenty of attention and exercise. Keep in mind that you not only need to think about the needs of potential buyers, but the needs of your pets as well. It’s not for nothing that we have this saying: “A tired dog is a good dog.”
“Being sure to provide your pet with lots of opportunities to release pent-up stress and energy during the home selling process is beneficial for both of you. If you have a dog, consider adding some time to their daily walk or taking more trips to the dog park. Exercise your cat by instigating more play time, with games like chase and hide-and-go-seek. Up the amount of attention you give your pet too, since they probably need a little bit more TLC during this time. . . . Even if you’re busy, set aside plenty of time to help your pet expend mental and physical energy.”
4. Learn About Anxiety Issues
Also, to better handle pets during showings and moving, you should learn about pet anxiety issues that are common for them. The home-selling process is difficult for pets because their routines are disrupted and their world is basically turned upside-down, especially during the move, which can cause them no little anxiety.
It’s a good idea, then, to talk to your vet ahead of time about how to help your pets handle this anxiety. “[M]ake an appointment with your vet to talk about options for taking the edge off. These include prescription and non-prescription calming medications, wearable stress relievers like the Thundershirt, calming sprays and collars, and other products designed to regulate your pet’s mood.”
5. Understand the Signs of Stress
Similarly, you’ll need to help your pets deal with the nearly inevitable stress involved, which usually accompanies anxiety. So, to handle pets during showings and moving, you need to first understand the signs of stress. Once you know how to recognize pet stress, you can begin to deal with it.
Signs to watch out for include panting, clinginess, drooling, excessive dandruff, shaking or shivering, pacing, and excessive licking. . . . The better idea you have of what to look for, the quicker you can react when your pet communicates to you that they could really use some extra help.”
And Get Help From Your Seattle Agent
Finally, it’s a good idea to tap into your Seattle agent’s experience and knowledge concerning pets. A good agent will have helped many Seattle area home sellers who have pets and will have further tips and strategies to help you handle yours. Don’t lose a sale because you don’t know how to handle pets during showings, but, instead, contact us at (206) 465-7215.