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Carol Taplin
Sales Representative

Office: (905) 642-6333
Fax: (905) 642-5730
Direct: (416) 518-6422


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Selling your home can be traumatic for all! It’s hard enough that you are scrambling to keep the kids’ bedrooms and your husband’s “Man Room” presentable but there is also the 4-legged little children that are wondering what’s going on too.

I am the proud owner of Border Collies – one of the most intelligent doggies in the world. It’s very easy to have a conversation with them and explain the Real Estate Industry and the process of agents visiting the home, however, if you are concerned that your pets might react negatively to realtor’s showing your home, the number one solution is to remove your pets from the premises while a showing is taking place. Some people are very nervous around animals and consequently will not be concentrating on how lovely your home is. I have had an equal amount of clients that are terrified of dogs and cats. Even if the pet is crated downstairs or on the back deck, and they hear it barking they are reluctant to enter the home. Some clients have acute allergies to pet hair and although your home might be spotless, just having Miss Mew waltz across in front of them can set their allergies off.

If you can get a family member, neighbour, or friend to take the pets out for a walk or have them stay in an alternate back yard, it would be ideal. However if this is not possible, the following suggestions will help you deal with the situation. Here are some simple little rules and helpful hints.

How does your Pet React to Strangers?

Always advise your Realtor that 24 hours notice for showings is critical so that a game plan is in place for who in the family scrambles home, picks up the chew toys, sprays the Febreeze and takes the pets for a walk or for a ride in the car.

Although I am not a “Kitty Mum” I do know that some cats hate a little drive in the car, and ultimately Miss Mew may be home to greet the visitors as they arrive. Please let the Realtor’s office know if your pet hates interaction with children, or likes to attack anything that moves. I can tell you from experience that not all cats are open to visitors. On showing a country home I went upstairs to check the bedrooms as my clients were downstairs and noticed a slightly tilted lampshade. As I entered the room a cat came out from underneath the bed and proceeded to use my left leg as a scratching post!

Always alert your Realtor with regard to possible problems with your pets and whether or not Hockey Knee Pads should or should not be worn while viewing the home.

Biscuits for dogs and treats for cats that are left at your front door in a covered jar that can be easily accessible to Realtors to give to your pets will help ease the stress of strangers entering your home.

Pet Odours?

Now I’m sure that your home smells as sweet as lilacs in the breeze however, clients have a very keen sense of smell. They know if your brother-in-law stole a quick puff of a cigarette last Thanksgiving in the downstairs bathroom.

They will then proceed to deduct the cost of painting all rooms in the home from your List Price.

Be very conscious to any odours in the home – whether temporary from the fish you cooked last night to an odour that has always lingered in your pet’s favourite sitting spot. Smells will put people off. Even if your pets are groomed on a regular basis there is always the chance that one of them will have a bit of an air about them that day. Be conscious of this and try to fix the problem before it’s noticed. Also clean and remove objects that have a distinct or unusual smell, and keep a stationery air freshener in that corner of the room.

In extreme cases, carpets may have to be cleaned and cupboards may have to be painted to give that fresh look and feel – go through your home with your Realtor before the showings start and be alert to anything that would put you off if you were viewing a home. Put yourself in the buyer’s position.

The other idea to consider is to restrict showings to a certain time of day when you know that the pets will be outside and this gives you a chance to burn a lovely scented candle or bake some cookies.

Multiple Bookings.

Should your Realtor have a number of showings scheduled for one day you might consider taking your pets to Grandma’s house, their regular groomer or a doggie or kittie daycare.

Certainly the day the movers come to pack and move your belongings would be a great day to have your pets away at one of their favourite jaunts. Much quieter for the movers and less stress for your pets.

When they are ready to be picked up at the end of the day, arrive with a new toy or special treats to make it a more pleasant experience. The less stress for them the better.

Pet Hair!

Dog and cat hair can be a problem as well.

When you have hardwood floors, keep a dry swiffer available for quick pet hair pick up! Somewhere easy to obtain when clients are on their way over.

Pet hair on carpet is a problem and you might have to keep the vacuum handy. A quick pick up on a carpet is a Lint Brush – they work well and can be kept quite close at hand.

Finding a Pet Friendly Realtor!

Very important. If you choose a Realtor that is highly allergic to cats and your Miss Mew loves to run to the front door to greet all visitors, chances are showings will be brief. Also if your 120 – pound doggie Fluffy loves to interact warmly with Realtors and your Realtor has a tendency to run whenever he/she sees Fluffy approaching it might be best to choose a Realtor that is a pet-friendly individual. Again, please let your Realtor’s office know of any and all pets in the home so that they are prepared.

Finally....

Do not be afraid to sit your pets down and have a little talk with them about the trials and tribulations of selling your home. They are part of the family too. Pets are more sensitive than you think and they know that you are under stress to keep things looking nice. You’ll be surprised how well they will accommodate you! Let them in on the conversations you have with your family about keeping the home looking nice.. Let your pets know it will be okay! Let them pick out the colors for their new mud room in the new house on your next trip to Rona!

Moving can be very positive if everyone is organized and onboard.

Let the games begin........

Carol Taplin is a Realtor with Royal LePage Your Community Realty, Brokerage and has been selling homes for over 16 years. She and her husband Michael are the proud owners of both Border Collie and Australian Shepherd dogs. Carol can be contacted at Royal LePage 416-518-6422 or ctaplin@trebnet.com.

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