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Staging Your Home When You Have a Pet
To you, your pet is probably one of the best additions to your home. To prospective buyers however, it could be a bit of a turnoff. According to The Guardian, cats in particular tend to worry buyers, both because of allergies and they might want to come back to the house. However, dogs are also a problem, especially as they tend to leave a strong, distinctive smell.
When staging your home for visits, it is a good idea to hide the existence of your pet altogether. Here are a few simple steps to effectively sell your home as a pet owner.
Inspect The House
Most people are so used to their pet being part of the home that they can become impervious to the usual traces of animal’s presence. The most obvious example is smell, which many owners stop noticing after a while. However, you may have also become used to the hairs on every surface and chew toys all over the place.
Experts recommend getting someone who has never been to your house to look around and give you an honest appraisal. Ask them to list every sign they see that an animal lives in the house. You may find they pick up on things you may have missed.
To get rid of any lingering smells, replace any air filters (be sure to get the right-sized filter), use air fresheners strategically, and consider installing an air purifier. It would also help tremendously to get rid of any old dog toys or bedding that might have a bad odor, and steam clean any furniture your dog has access to.
Remove The Animal
Unfortunately, you will need to remove your pet while you are making the staging preparations and showing the house. Hopefully, there is a friend, neighbor, or family member who can pet sit for you whenever you need it. If not, you can hire a pet sitter to take care of your animal during any showings. Remember to also transport the pet out of the house during cleaning day and to try to keep them off furniture after cleaning so as to not undo your hard work.
Get Rid of the Evidence
There are two main things you need to worry about: the smell and pet hair. For the smell, soft furnishings with removable covers should be fully washed, and you can use a sprinkling of baking soda for the rest as well as for your carpet. Combined with some good old air freshener and maybe a few scented candles, this should get rid of the smell.
If a regular lint roller isn’t up for the challenge of removing hair from your furniture, Apartment Therapy suggests using a slightly damp rubber glove to wipe it off. Be thorough and make sure every surface in the house is free of pet hair – don’t forget your clothes.
Once you have completed this process, it’s just a matter of gathering all the pet stuff from around the house. Some of it will be staying with the animal, but you can just put excess toys and accessories in a cardboard box to keep them out of the way. Remember to hide pet food and clean up any messes in the yard.
Once you’re done covering up all tracks of your beloved pet, don’t forget these additional staging touches:
- Maximizing light – Open your curtains and add lamps to any dark spaces.
- Declutter – Get rid of most personal objects such as pictures, children’s toys and artwork and general knickknacks. Tidy your clothes and get rid of items you don’t need. Don’t just stuff everything in a closet as buyers will be checking all storage areas.
- Create curb appeal – There are many small ways to do this, such as retouching the trim on your house and planting flowers in your front yard.
You may feel like this is a lot of work to hide your pet, but remember that staging is something all sellers must do, not just those with animal friends. Deep cleaning and decluttering a house allows prospective buyers to see themselves in it, which can mean the difference between a ‘buy’ or a ‘pass.’ Get this part right, and you’ll be settled into your new home before you know it – and so will your furry buddy.
Article provided by Medina at DogEtiquette.info.