Pets are a hoot and a half, aren’t they? At least half of today’s Canadian households certainly think so. Dogs and cats are the usual animal friends and companions, while birds, fish, and critters such as hakelowna home stagingmsters and ferrets are also popular choices. Of course, those with a little bit of a wild side prefer more exotic, adventurous pets such as snakes, spiders and lizards (within applicable laws, certainly).

Our pets bring joy and companionship, and are considered bona fide members of most families today. But let’s face it: not all homeowners are pet lovers, and certainly not all potential home buyers like the idea that pets had previously lived in the property. When it comes to staging the home for the market, specific steps have to be taken to make the home as neutral and marketable as possible to all potential buyers, whether they like pets or not.

Here are some pet-friendly helpful hints to get your home ready for potential buyers, while also making sure your animal friends are not neglected or simply forgotten in the process:

 Make alternative lodging arrangements for your pets.This is not an easy or popular thing to do, especially if you are very attached to your pets. But the easiest way to maintain your home’s optimum staged condition is to keep them away from the house for the meantime. Check if you have neighbors or extended family who can accommodate them for the meantime; they may not even have to be that far from you. If you simply cannot be away from your pets while the house is in the market, pets must not be in the property during showings, regardless.

 Keep pet stuff out of view. This includes cat litter boxes, dog potty pads, bird cages, food or water bowls, pet toys, and other accessories. Even if your pets are somewhere else during a showing, the mere sight of pet-related stuff would turn off a client who is allergic to pets or simply not fond of them. By the way, this would also pertain to photos of you and your animals tacked on to refrigerator doors and work desks. Also, avoid posting pictures of your pets in different areas of the house in online listings.

Thorough cleaning is a must.Stains must be removed from carpets and area rugs; stubborn stains and dirt may have to be taken care of by professional cleaners. Pet hair must be removed from beds, couches, and other furniture. Keep in mind that if you choose to still have the pets around even during the selling period, cleaning must be done regularly, perhaps even daily as pet hair and/or furs can accumulate.

This is a major turn-off for potential home buyers, and a sign of neglect and/or poor maintenance of the property. The simplest way to start removing pet smells within the house is to open windows and allow fresh air in. If you are having your home cleaned professionally, inquire about enzyme cleaners or other odor-removing solutions they offer. To be sure your home is pet odor-free, have a neighbor or friend come in and do a whiff test.

Prep This House would like to congratulate Teresa Smith of Remax Kelowna for being nominated as a finalist for the RESA REALTOR® of the Year™ North America award.

This Award is presented annually to a REALTOR® that collaborates with professional stagers and fully endorses the Home Staging profession.

As a realtor, Teresa’s goal for her sellers is to “get them the best possible price for their home, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of inconvenience.” By endorsing home staging, it shows clients that she is dedicated to that goal.

Staging is a selling tool that many realtors often choose not to offer, for fear of offending the homeowners or because it cuts into their bottom line. They might suggest staging late in the game, to a stale listing, but often, at this point, the damage has been done.  Teresa in offering staging to her clients, further proves that she has her clients best interests at heart!



One thing to keep in mind when staging your home and preparing it for your local market is to try stay one step ahead of your potential buyers. As the seller, you have to anticipate what could potentially make or break the sale of your home in terms of visual impact or emotional appeal.  Instead of being on the defensive and being caught unprepared, homeowners should be ready in all aspects and details.

Closets, cabinets, and other storage areas in the home being staged should never be neglected. A lot of people who are looking to buy a new home are doing so because they have already outgrown their current one. If your potential buyer is looking for a bigger house, guess what will be one of their priorities as they tour your property? Yes, it’s the storage space and how these blend into the home while being functional and accessible at the same time.

Buyers will inevitably peek into the closets, cabinets, drawers, cupboards, and other storage areas of your home. The last thing you would want to happen is for them to see a messy pile of accumulated knick-knacks and clutter; this can be very distracting, and a signal to the potential client that your home may not have enough storage space for their own stuff. This is why closets, cabinets and drawers should be included in your home staging plans, in order to show off their true value and add to your property’s overall marketability.

Here are some suggestions for staging your storage spaces:

  • Show off space, not stuff. A large bedroom closet full of coats, clothes, shoes, and bags will still look small because of all the stuff. Remove clothes you will not be needing while the house is on the market (think: off-season), as well as other accessories. Hang clothes so that there is space between them; this emphasizes the storage capacity and also allows the potential buyer to visualize his or her own stuff in your closet without being distracted.
  • Clean, repaint, repair. Dusty shelves and cabinets signal neglect and poor maintenance. Make sure cupboards, drawers, and cabinets are spotless. A fresh coat of paint on all your cabinets and closets is easy to accomplish and light on the budget. If there are handles or knobs that need to be replaced, make sure they are repaired and ready for showings.
  • Organize. Avoid piling kitchen utensils, chopping boards, pots, and pans on top of each other without any particular order. This is an eyesore and a major turn-off for buyers. Segregate stuff, have an area allocated for things and accessories that are related to each other, and you will instantly see how much more functional and pleasant the storage space looks when neatly organized.
  • Add storage if necessary. Inexpensive but functional storage spaces can be added around your home that fit with the overall theme. Stackable storage units are great for limited closet spaces; they instantly organize your stuff and are relatively affordable. Open spaces above the sink or stove can also be utilized for additional cupboards and cabinets.