How to Stage Your Home to Minimize the Presence of Pets
This guest article was generously supplied by Paul Denikin of Dad Knows DIY. Check out his website for more great tips.
Statistics show that for every $100 invested in staging a home, there’s a potential return of $400. While making a home appealing can have a great payback, your efforts could be in vain if a potential buyer is turned off by pets in the home. It’s not that buyers are animal-haters but they may be sensitive to dander and odors or concerned about potential allergens in the home. Neutralizing these concerns is a temporary effort to ensure you and your pets are on your way to your new home soon.
Remove the Evidence
Depersonalizing and decluttering are important for selling in order to create a welcoming and neutral environment. The following pet-related items should be removed:
Food and water bowls
Cat trees and other such climbing apparatus
Cages and carriers
Leashes and collars
Food and treats
Doggie door (or at least seal it up)
Any pet-related decor, including photographs, artwork, refrigerator magnets, and crafts
Due to the fact that we’re wired to adapt to bad odors, you may not realize the pet aromas in your home, but potential buyers could. Along with being unpleasant, when pet urine becomes ingrained in carpeting, baseboards, and furniture, it can prompt some serious health issues. Those with allergies, asthma, chronic migraines, and a weak immune system can become more ill as a result of ammonia inhalation. This is why it’s important have your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned to remove all traces of odors and stains. Doing it yourself may not be enough. Pros have more advanced equipment and cleaning solutions that can’t compare to store-bought products, so it’s worth the investment. The average cost for carpet and rug cleaning in Boston ranges from $120 - $240.
Where to Put Your Pets During an Open House
The best thing you can do on the day of an open house is to send your pet on a mini-vacation, whether that means boarding him or having a trusted friend or family member watch your furry friend. Keep in mind that this could possibly cause stress to your animal—especially cats because they are extremely routine-based creatures that can become anxious when their environment changes. In this case, talk to your vet about a calming medication for your feline.
It can be difficult to keep your home clean and void of odors in between showings, so you may want to board your pet temporarily or organize your pet’s things into a Go Bag. For example, keep a bag with all toys, treats, etc., and only pull out a few things at a time—like favorites. When it’s time for a showing, put the bag in your trunk or other secluded area. Odors and hair can be more tricky, so make an effort to vacuum daily, clean up any messes right away (including yard waste), and open the windows to freshen the home.
It’s not a bad idea to have an unbiased source conduct a walk-through to ensure there aren’t any residual odors or evidence lingering around. As added reassurance, strategically place some plug-in air fresheners around the house and simmer a pot on the stove with oranges and cinnamon sticks on days when there’s a showing. Along with helping you sell your house, you may even pick up a few tips for keeping your new home fresh and organized on a regular basis.