Evidence of pets is one reason why potential buyers might walk away from your house if you utilize the benefits of home staging. Buyers are often wary of stubborn stains and odors caused by pets. If they know you have a pet, they’ll be on the lookout for damage and signs of uncleanliness. Even if your pet has always been well-behaved, you can benefit from hiding their presence during house showings. Here’s how to make sure potential buyers can’t tell that you have a pet.
Remove Stains and Odors
Carpet stains and unpleasant smells are key giveaways that you have a pet. Hire a carpet cleaning service to remove deeply embedded odors and stains. If your carpets are in very bad shape, you may have to remove them completely. Don’t stop at cleaning your carpets; give your entire home a deep cleaning. A maid service will usually run you $116 – $235 nationally, but it’s well worth the cost to get your home sparkling clean. Opening the windows to let in fresh air can prevent any musty smells in your house. You might also want to clean out the vents or air ducts where pet hair and dander can collect and contribute to odors. Finally, it’s a good idea to have your pet live somewhere else, like a friend or family members home, until you find a homebuyer to help you avoid reintroducing pet smells back into the home.
Fix Any Damage Caused by Pets
There may be scratches on hard floors and doors in your home from your pet’s claws. If you have hardwood floors, you should be able to cover up scratches with a stain-filled marker (available from Target for $4.99). Deep scratches may need to be filled, sanded down and re-stained. Cat-scratched upholstery can be covered with a slipcover. Touch up chipped paint on walls and sand down scratches on wooden furniture and doors. If you have a cat, you may have to replace tattered curtains as well.
Hide Pet Items and Photos
When staging your home, remove all possible evidence that a pet lives with you. Take down any pictures of your pet and seal up your doggy doors. Hide pet food and water bowls, as well as all your pet’s toys. If you have cat scratch posts or towers, find somewhere else to store them. Finally, most professional stagers will recommend keeping your pet out of the house during showings.
Clean Up the Yard
Of course, remove all pet waste from your yard before you allow potential buyers to see it. Pet waste has likely caused damage to your lawn, so Kijenga recommends spending some time rejuvenating your grass. You may have patches in the lawn where your dog tends to relieve itself. Remove nitrogen from these patches by sprinkling with limestone. Then, add topsoil and grass seeds to refresh the area with new growth.
While you’re outside, spend some time improving the curb appeal of your home. Forbes recommends doing some basic landscaping by cleaning up weeds and planting fresh flowers. You may also want to retouch the trim on your house, clean out rain gutters, wash your windows and add fresh paint to your siding.
Make Your Home staging Feel Inviting
Once you’ve removed all evidence of pets from your home, it’s time to finish staging. Part of staging your home for potential buyers is making it look as inviting as possible. Mirrors do a lot to brighten and amplify a room. Add lamps to dark room corners and turn on all the lights in preparation for a showing. You’ll also want to open curtains to let in plenty of natural light.
When you’re cleaning up, try to get rid of clutter since this makes rooms feel cramped. Stick to a few statement pieces on dining room tables and counters. Hang up artwork and remove personal photos and magnets from your fridge. You want potential buyers to picture the house as theirs, not yours.
Selling your house is an exciting time because you’re likely moving into a new place that you and your pet will love even more. Staging your home will help you sell your house faster and get better offers from buyers. You may even come across some potential buyers with a pet who are looking for the ideal home for their own furry friend!