Are you a proud dog parent?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, you are far from alone – there are over 70 million pet dogs in the US, which makes about one dog per 4.5 people. While your 100-pound great Dane may be the light of your life, they can present some challenges when it comes to selling your home.
Buyers like to imagine themselves living in the houses they’re looking to buy. Much the same way you might choose to paint over your hot pink feature wall to broaden your appeal, you’ll also want to make sure your pet’s presence isn’t obvious. The good news is that there are easy changes you can implement without inconveniencing you or your pooch. So if you and your pooch are thinking about making a move soon, here are 5 Tricks to ensure your home makes a paws-itive impression!
Trick #1: Get Rid of Pet Odors
Your house smells like you… and your pet. You probably don’t notice because you’ve become nose blind, but your potential buyers will smell it straight away. So, step one is to remove the odors. If you have carpets, start by sprinkling baking soda, activated charcoal, or odor eaters down for a few hours first to help neutralize odors, then vacuum as normal. If possible, consider having your carpets steam cleaned a few days before the first showing. Don’t forget about your curtains and rugs! If you can wash them at home, consider letting them dry in the fresh air and sunshine. If your puppy had a habit of making messes inside, you might consider using a blacklight to find urine stains, and spot-clean these areas with specialized cleaning products. Finally, open all windows to let some fresh air in. Avoid using air fresheners or scented candles because these will be a red flag to some viewers, who will think, correctly, that you’re covering something up.
Trick #2 – Minimize Shedding
If you have a furry pet, hair will also come into play—if your buyers don’t see it, they’ll smell it. So the first step is to minimize the shedding that your pet will do over the period that your house is up for sale. You can do this by brushing your pet regularly, as often as every few days if he is particularly furry. Make sure your pet gets enough omega 3 oils in his diet too and add a teaspoon to their food, if not. Not only does this make for a less brittle coat, it’s also good for his skin. Better skin means less scratching, and therefore less shedding. Even with the best haircare, shedding will happen. Covering couches and staging with blankets might be the best route to keep your home show-ready.
Trick #3 – Evaluate Your Furniture
We all know that pets leave a mark on homes, often literally. While you adore your 100 pound Great Dane, when it comes to selling your home potential buyers could get distracted by evidence of Peaches’ chewing habit. If there are urine stains, scratch marks, or chewed-up furniture in your house, make sure all of these are removed. You can attack stubborn pet stains by spraying on a solution of 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar, then pouring baking soda on top and leaving it to dry before vacuuming. Take a step back and see if the scratches you take for granted or the tear you don’t notice anymore are enough to warrant a new couch or professional staging. When in doubt, ask your agent their opinion, and think about getting your home properly staged, especially in “public” main rooms. Once those rooms are showing-ready, try to keep that area off limits if possible.
Trick #4 – Pet-free Showings
While some people won’t care if your pet is at home during a showing, others will. Many people are afraid of dogs, even cute ones locked in a crate or other closed-off area. Plus, according to LiveScience, around 1 in 10 people are allergic to household pets, with cat allergies being the most common. Sneezing fits can really interfere with the sales process, so if you’re having an open house, drop your pets off with a friend, or for single showings, treat dogs to a long walk.
Trick #5 – Hide the Evidence
Even if your pet is not actually present, if buyers see litter trays, scratching posts, pet toys, beds, and feeding bowls, it can make your home feel cluttered and distract your buyers. Make sure all pet paraphernalia is cleared away and out of sight. Keep in mind, viewers might want to look inside cupboards to check the storage space, so when you put items away, store them in a closed box or behind human food.
Ready. Set. SOLD!
Your pet is another (adorable) factor to take into account when making your home appeal to a broad range of people. While they’re a source of love, loyalty, and affection, they also come with odor, hair, and perhaps a tendency to chew on things. So when it comes to getting your home sold, it might take a bit more work to make your home shine – but it will be worth it!