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3 Ways to Stage Your Home if You’re a Pet Owner

A house that suggests that it’s inhabited by a pet is one of the top turnoffs for a potential buyer. So as much as you love your animals, you’ve got to remove all signs of their existence if you want to sell your home in a timely manner. But don’t take this step personally—people are turned off by pets for various reasons. For example, even if you don’t have an animal that sheds or has a lot of dander, a visual cue that a pet is present could prompt someone to think your
home is a breeding ground for allergens. There’s also smell and cleanliness factors to consider. So, before your realtor starts showing your property, make sure it’s properly staged for success.

Consider Making Advanced Arrangements for Your Pet

If possible, make arrangements for your pet to be removed from the home during the showing period. While it’s definitely an easier way to keep your home in tip-top shape, it’s also harder on you and your furry friend. If a kennel or trusted friend or family member is not an option to take in your pet, at least remove him from the home during the actual showing. Just keep in mind that you’re going to have to conduct regular cleaning, deodorizing, and decluttering in between appointments.

Depersonalize Your Space

Along with food and water bowls, cat trees, bedding, cage/carrier, leash/muzzle, and toys, you’re going to need to remove items like photographs and any memorabilia that indicate you own a pet (e.g., an “I Love Dogs” sign). Another indicator is a doggie door, so make sure you seal it up. If you own a cat and you absolutely can’t temporarily move her out, make sure you hide the litter box or invest in an incognito model that doubles as a piece of furniture. Just make sure it’s clean and odor free.

Get Rid of Pet Odors and Stains

Eliminating odors and stains is a lot more difficult that putting toys in a box, but it’s not impossible. If you opt not to get a professional cleaner to do the dirty work, implement these steps:

  • Sweep and mop all hard floors to remove hair, dander, and dust particles. Make sure you do this lightly so you don’t kick things up in the air.
  • Vacuum everywhere, from hard floors and carpets to furniture and curtains.
  • Remove stains and steam-clean the carpets with a pet-friendly cleaner and remover.

Just make sure to move your animals to another room during this process.

  • Wash all your linens, including bedding, couch cushions, and pillow cases. Anything that’s not machine washable should go to the dry cleaner.
  • Even though you’ll be storing it away, wash your pet’s bed and blankets so there aren’t any odors lurking from a storage space. If you’re concerned because you want to retain the scent so it’s easier for your pet to get adjusted to his new home, ask a friend or family member to hold on to the items for you, or keep them in the trunk of your car.
  • Open the windows and air out your home. Change all the air filters as it’s likely that they’re clogged with dust, dirt, and hair which contributes to odors.
  • Apply a couple of coats of a stain- and odor-sealing paint to areas on walls (usually near baseboards) where any urine stains may exist.
  • On the day of the showing, simmer herbs, essential oils, and fruit on the stove. Dab some essential oils on cotton balls and strategically place them in hidden areas around the house. Light a few lightly scented candles—nothing too overpowering as it can be a turnoff for buyers.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional stager to assist you. Use this experience as an opportunity to consider ways to make your next home a bit less cluttered and as fresh smelling as possible. A home that looks like it’s run by a pet instead a person isn’t the best environment, even if it’s not for sale.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Written by Seth Murphy

Seth loves hands-on DIY projects and sharing what he has learned with others. He first got into doing DIY projects to save money, but over time he has developed a real passion for this hands-on, intensive work.