How Pet Owners Should Stage their Home for a Quicker Sale
America is certainly a nation of pet lovers, but there’s one time that having a pet is a liability when you’re selling your house! Pet urine can cause permanent damage to carpets and furniture, while the smell of a pet alone may be a deal-breaker for some potential buyers.
Around 10 to 20 percent of people are allergic to dogs and cats. It’s much harder to make the sale when your prospect is dealing with sneezing fits and watery eyes. However, with a little up-front staging work, your buyers won’t even know a pet lives with you. Here’s what you need to do.
Let More Light In
Whether you have a pet or not, you’ll want your home to have bright, even lighting throughout. This is even more important when you have a pet, because it makes it easier to find stained areas. Open or remove curtains to let natural light in, use lamps to brighten up and dark areas and if you have trees or hedges near the windows, consider trimming them back.
Replace Carpets and Furniture
If you have old carpets, you can be sure that pet hair and dander has gotten deep into the fibers and it will be almost impossible to remove. Your best bet is to replace your carpets completely as well as any furniture your pet often sits on. When you put new carpet and furniture in, limit your pet’s access to these areas as much as you can and clean them regularly until you get the sale. You may also want to groom your pet more often, which can reduce shedding.
As Organize My House explains, space sells, so go through your house room-by-room and remove clutter. Sell or donate items you don’t need, and pack away things you want to keep but won’t need to use in the near future. Rent a storage locker to get your stuff out of the way, if necessary. Also, set aside a place to hide all pet paraphernalia when you have visitors including toys, betting, food bowls and any other items. Take the pet food out of your shelves, too.
When people walk around your house, they start imagining themselves in it. This helps create the emotional connection to the home that is so essential to the sale. However, it’s hard to imagine yourself living in a home that’s very personalized. So depersonalize -- remove all family photos - especially the ones featuring your pet - and any other very personal items or decorations you have around, such as refrigerator magnets.
Create Curb Appeal
Don’t neglect the exterior of the home, as this can create an impression that buyers will carry with them throughout the viewing. So make it a good one -- make sure the front garden and yard are free of toys, chains or any other pet-related items. In particular, if your pet uses the yard as a toilet, make sure there is absolutely no evidence of this fact! While you are outside, you can also improve your curb appeal by retouching the trim of the house and doing some basic gardening work such as trimming the lawn and hedges and planting flowers.
Keep Your Pet Out During Viewings
Even if your pet is in a crate or fenced-off area, their mere presence could cause issues. Instead, you could either take dogs for a long walk, or drop them off with a neighbor temporarily. If possible, you could have your pets stay with a friend for a few weeks to prevent them shedding in your freshly cleaned house.
Having a pet makes selling a home a little harder, but it’s not impossible, and thousands of people do it every day. You just need to do a little extra preparation work. If you cover all the above bases, your home will smell fresh and appear to be pet-free, which might just make the difference in getting a sale.