Pet-proofing: Make the backyard a safe, fun space for your dog
Mar 13 2018 39927 1
A Home With Invisible Pets Sells Faster
We all love our dogs and cats. But they can slow things down when you go to sell your house. Fortunately, many people own pets, so you can learn from the experiences of other animal lovers who have sold a home. Read on for tips on how to make your pets seem invisible when buyers come calling.
Eliminate pet debris and odors
There really is no substitute for keeping your house pristinely clean when you are selling. Pet accidents need to be cleaned up immediately. Use an odor neutralizing agent while cleaning these spills.
Keep fur balls from tumbling through the house with a robotic vacuum cleaner. These life-saving appliances can be programmed to run through the house during the day while you are working. They also dock themselves.
You may well have a lot of pet toys and blankets. How do you hide these in advance of a showing? Answer: Throw pet bedding, blankets, and cloth toys in the clothes washer and start it. Throw plastic chew toys in the dishwasher and start it up.
Make sure your house always passes the smell test. Pet owners tend to become immune to a great deal of pet odor. In a pinch, just before a showing, ask a neighbor to stand in your front room and tell you honestly what he or she smells.
Use air fresheners only as a last resort. Canned flowers tend to scream, “I’m hiding something.”
Painting over stains and scratches works better, because the smell of paint is strong. And people have positive associations with the smell of paint. Home buyers associate paint with renovation and newness.
You can also crack out some canned dough and put it in the oven on bake. The smell of fresh bakery will crowd out minor pet smells.
Dogs, even well behaved ones, should be gone from the house when buyers arrive. If you are having multiple showings on a work day, put your dog in doggie day care.
If you are able, run home and take your dog for a walk while the house is being shown. Otherwise, have a dog walker who is available on short notice, and give him or her a key to your house.
In a pinch, you can put your dog in your fenced back yard and warn your realtor not to let people back there. Be aware, however, that buyers like to see all the property. So putting your dog in the yard is not a long-term solution.
Ideally, cats should also leave the house when there is a showing, for their own safety. If you have the option, take your cat to work with you or to kitty daycare.
Alternatively, confine your cat(s) to one room of the house on days when it is being shown, and ask your realtor not to let them out of that room.
What do you do about litter boxes? There’s no perfect answer. But definitely put them out of sight, in a closet or a basement or attic. Make sure your cat(s) has access to the box if you are going to be at work all day.
Litter boxes can smell quite bad. You will need to completely change out the litter before every showing. Consider disposable litter boxes that can be thrown out, two or three times a week. Otherwise, you will need to change the litter and clean the box out with a strong cleaning agent like bleach and water.
If you have the time and energy, you can create decorative litter boxes like the ones on Contemporist.com.
In conclusion, a home with no pet odors, fur balls, and randomly strewn toys will sell faster and for more money. Before putting your house on the market, determine how you will get your dog out of the house for showings. Figure out how you will hide your cats and their litter boxes. And happy house selling!
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Written by Cindy Aldridge
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