STAGING WITH SPARKY: The Pet Friendly Way to Sell Your House
Deciding you want to list your house for sale can be a stressful time. True your house must be immaculate to make a great first impression and free of most traces of “you” but what about your beloved pet?
Many home sellers focus on making their home look attractive to potential buyers and less about how they will live day-to-day once their home is on the market. So what do you do with your pet? Do they stay or do they go during buyer visits?
It is best to remove your pet if possible when your home is going to be shown. Some realtors even suggest that Fluffy find a temporary place to live while the house is listed for sale but sometimes that’s just not realistic or feasible. If your pet has never been boarded before, it might be too overwhelming for them and if your house is on the market for a while it may become unhealthy and costly. You can arrange for a pet service to remove your pet for the afternoon or ask a neighbor or friend to help out.
Cara Sicoly, owner of Shake-a-Leg Petcare, a pet care service in Scarborough says; “although selling your home and keeping your pet happy at the same time may be challenging, there are some creative solutions to pleasing both buyers and your four-legged friend.”
Sicoly says that you can consider covering your furniture with blankets or sheets that can be easily removed before a showing. This will allow your dog or cat to still feel at home while not causing you the daily stress of keeping them off the furniture. Hint: the clothes dryer could be a quick place to stow the blankets. More tips to prepare for a showing here.
If you crate your pet while you aren’t home you may think about investing in a furniture style model that look like end tables. Home buyers won’t think twice about seeing them in the family room. And most importantly, this isn’t a time to pass on your pet’s personal pampering! The best way to keep your house from smelling too ‘doggy’ is to keep your dog from smelling. Schedule more frequent ‘spa’ days for them and daily grooming can help keep their smells and hair to a minimum in your home.
You also want to avoid advertising that you have a pet. So keep a large plastic container handy to store all pet toys, supplies, water and food bowls and do your best to keep the litter box clean and out of sight. Remove all pictures of you and your budgie so that the buyer isn't thinking about bird droppings behind the curtains.
Make sure all bird cages and hamster homes are clean and that the fish tank sparkles. Clean out any algae and keep fresh wood chips on hand - a soiled cage can detract from the cleanliness of your home. Your big "spring clean" before listing should include a thorough cleaning of your carpets, drapes and any surface that might smell like your pet (even better to get drapes and carpets cleaned professionally). Don't use artificial fresheners to mask odours - that just makes it worse.
Remember, if the buyer can't smell your pet then it doesn't exist! Don't let pet odours derail the sale of your home.