How to Deal With Pets When Selling Your Home

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March 19, 2014

One of the most stressful times in owning a home is when you have to sell it. Questions of how to accomplish the best staging in your home, how to keep it looking attractive, and how best to find potential buyers takes a toll. One of the variables that can often be overlooked are pets. Not only are they being cared for in busy times, but how do you manage them when you are showing your house to potential buyers?home staging with cats and dogs by Hope Designs cute dog
It isn’t always practical to uproot your pets for every showing. Even if you do or you find ways to minimize their presence, there can be lingering issues with a house that normally have pets running around. It is best to think through these considerations thoroughly when staging a home for potential buyers.
Making plans in advance for having your pet elsewhere can make a huge difference. This could mean anything from leaving the dog at a friendly neighbour’s house at specific times of the week when there are house showings to leaving your bird or gerbil at a family member’s house for a matter of weeks. It could mean arranging with a pet day care center so that, with 24­ hours notice, you can drop your dog or cat off for a day or evening. If having the pet completely out of the house during showings isn’t feasible, perhaps crating them for that time period is a reasonable option.
Beyond managing the physical presence of your pet, there are considerations when minimizing the signs of your pet throughout the home. First and foremost is odour. If potential buyers walk in the door or in a room and are immediately taken aback by pet odour, that certainly isn’t a good first impression. At the very least, it gives the impression that you don’t clean up properly after your pet, which in turn may make them wonder what kind of “damage” that pet has made to the rest of the house. And people can be allergic. These are all kinds of thoughts that you just don’t want people to have when entering the house.
To help with odour, do simple things each day that make a huge difference. Sweep and vacuum daily. Use sticky rollers virtually every day to get hair off of furniture. Use neutralizing and/or scented sprays such as “fresh linen” or lavender, anything with light fragrances. Make sure litter boxes and the trash are taken out daily. If you have a bird, make sure the cage is cleaned thoroughly. If you are a little behind on these things, give yourself some time to do them every single day for a while and eventually any odour you do have will lessen significantly.
As for visible signs of your pet, try to minimize these as well. Find closets or drawers where pet care products, toys, bowls, and dishes can be stored. Although things like litter boxes may need to remain out, attempt to minimize their appearance, such as putting them behind a decorative screen or some other natural but out­ of ­the­ way location.
When it comes time for staging your home for resale, a good plan and some forethought are all that is needed to manage those pets. You can look forward to the time when potential buyers are
amazed that you even own a pet, yet are happy to live in a home where pets are welcome.
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