While most pet owners think of their animals as part of the family, potential home buyers see those same pets as problematic. Instead of letting your finned, furry or feathered friend hinder your home sale, make your pet disappear with smart staging. Here are some tips to help prepare your property for a quick, easy sale.
But my pet lives here!
Even if your pet is clean and well-behaved, there are many reasons home buyers prefer animal-free houses. They may have allergies; afraid of your animal, or they may envision the worst of messes an animal could create in a house. As The Balance points out, a buyer’s imagination can run wild with visions of vomiting, fleas, and all sorts of bad behavior.
Moving your pet to another location is your best bet. It makes staging easier, prevents your animal slipping out, and you don’t need to manage removing your pet and its belongings for every showing. And note the housing market is competitive. Research properties in your area to have a better feel for housing trends and to understand what you’re up against. For instance, the median listing price in Chattanooga is $345,000. If you want to maximize your sale price, focus on great home staging. Think in terms of making your pet disappear so buyers never even notice you housed one.
One of the best helps to pet owners during the home selling process is to find another place to keep your pet for the time being. Experts cited by the Seattle Times explain that with your pet’s safely out of the picture, you can prepare your property and arrange listings more freely. It allows your pet and you to experience a less stressful process by not having to pull your pet in and out of the house regularly. See if your animal can stay with a good friend, family member or boarding facility (boarding a dog can cost $25 - $85 a night).
If you elect to keep your pet at home for the duration of your listing, the next best thing you can do is to remove your pet and all your pet-related items prior to all showings. This includes litter boxes, puppy pads, aquariums, leashes, bowls and toys.
Evidence of your pet extends beyond your animal’s belongings. Any sort of pet odor is a major turnoff to potential home buyers. Not only do you need to remove bedding and indoor potty items, but also you should eliminate lingering odors throughout your home. That means deep cleaning carpet, upholstery and window coverings. You should start the process early, since some odors can be quite stubborn. Since you live with your pet, chances are you are so used to the scents you don’t notice them and may not be able to tell if they are thoroughly removed.
One suggestion is to ask a neighbor or friend to drop by after you clean and keep cleaning until offending odors are removed. If you have stains or odors that won’t lift, some professionals recommend replacing your flooring. Even after you effectively eradicate odors, ensure you keep up with the good job you did by vacuuming daily and routinely deodorizing.
Another aspect often overlooked is pet-related damage to a home. After all, when you live with something awhile you tend to stop “seeing” it. One recommendation is to thoroughly evaluate your home, looking for scratched woodwork, stained floors and clawed window screens. And don’t forget your yard! If your dog dug in the garden, patch the holes. If your cat leaves hunting trophies, remove them. Clean up any potty areas and repair damaged grass.
Pet-free and ready to sell.
By making your pet disappear during your listing, you set yourself up for a successful experience. Remove your pet’s belongings, deodorize your home, repair damage and prepare your property to look pet-free. Great staging can mean a quick offer at a good price for pet owners!
**Article courtesy of Cindy Aldridge at Ourdogfriends.org