You love your pet, but that doesn’t mean potential home buyers will. Signs of pet ownership while showing a home can be a big deterrent to potential offers, even from people who are pet owners themselves. When it comes to selling a home, most experts agree that staging your house with a neutral theme gives buyers the opportunity to imagine living in the home. They see themselves in each room instead of you and your pets. While pets can be amazing, loving companions, they are not always a high selling point for homes.
No matter how clean you keep your property, signs of pets can make people think of dirty litter boxes, accidents on carpets, and other natural, normal — but off-putting — messes. That’s why staging your home to minimize the appearance of pets can help improve your chances of selling more quickly. Not sure where to start? Expert home stagers share their best tips and tricks.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Your realtor will encourage you to hit the road when buyers come around, and you should definitely take your pet with you. There are plenty of places to take your dog, from a walk in the park to lunch on a patio. Take Fido to get groomed, or drop him or her off at doggie daycare. Cats are a bit tougher. It’s best to ask a friend if they can hang in a spare room in their house while yours is being toured. You can also talk to your vet to see if they can be boarded for a few hours. Have several options at hand in case one falls through.
Removed Damaged Furniture
Has kitty’s favorite armchair seen better days? Did puppy have a favorite rug to pee on during her house-training days? Get those pet-worn items out. Not only will they reveal to the savvy buyer (and just assume they all are) that there’s an animal in the home, but it will also make them wonder what else was damaged. Alleviate this buyer anxiety by putting any furniture damaged by pets in storage.
Clean from Top to Bottom
Pet hair might be a daily uphill battle you long ago gave up on, but now is time to re-engage the enemy. Sweep, mop, and dust daily to remove all signs of cat hair. Break up your home into morning and evening cleaning routines to make it easier to get into every corner and under every bed. Lighter floors, like a bathroom with white tile, will show more, so consider cleaning those areas more often.
Hide the Evidence
To get your house ready for showing, you’ll want to consider stowing away pet paraphernalia in a place where the buyers won’t see it. Since they’ll likely be checking out the whole house, consider keeping everything pet-related — bowls, toys, bed, leash, treats, crate — in a portable storage bin that you can slide into your closet or attic when it’s time to show.
Check Out the Competition
Even the most responsible pet owners risk losing an offer if the buyers are turned off by the idea of an animal living in their home. Without knowing how you cared for your pet, it’s likely that they worry about the damage they can see on the surface. Researching homes in your area and visiting open houses can give you get tips and techniques for showing with pets. And your realtor will have lots of advice as well.
When it’s time to put your home on the market, be savvy about showing with pets and be discreet so potential buyers have no visions of muddy paws tainting their image of life in your home. By staging your home properly, you can sell your home quickly and for the right price.
Written by Nick Burton