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 hamsters 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.