What Can You Do With Your Dog When You’re Selling Your House??
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For all of you dog owners considering selling a home, there are two major goals. The first is to make sure the dog stays as stress-free as possible (there’s enough of that for you during the process, let alone your fur-baby). The second is to make sure the presence of your dog doesn’t turn off potential buyers…I know that’s hard to imagine, but a dog can be a distraction during showings for sure! Both can be achieved as long as we make a game plan before we put the house up for sale. Here are some tips.
Don’t Advertise Your Dog’s Presence
Any potential buyer is going to know that you have a dog. There may be dog toys in a small basket or a dog house in the backyard. This is fine – most people don’t mind little signs of a dog here and there. But as ClosetBox notes (and the professional stager who I hire for my listings will help reinforce!) hiding signs of pets is an important part of properly staging your home for showings. TIPS: For potential buyers, make sure food and water bowls, leashes, toys, and dog beds are stored in closets or baskets. For your dog, make sure to put everything back when the showing is over, otherwise the dog may be confused or feel a bit displaced.
Do Clean a Little Deeper
As a pet owner, you get used to things like the smells of having a dog or hair on the couch or carpets. These things, while no biggie to you have the potential to really turn off potential buyers. TIP: Look at the cleanliness of your house with a discerning eye, from the perspective of a buyer and see if you need to maybe increase your cleaning frequency or hire a professionals to clean while you’re trying to sell. One thing that can really help (and I speak from personal experience on this!) is to invest in an automatic vaccuum – like a Roomba or a Neato – so that you’re not increasing your stress-level by having to constantly pick up hair off the floor. Lint rollers are great for removing dog hair from upholstery, and you can even invest in some Scotch-guarding if things get too bad. TIP: Have a friend (or someone who will tell you the truth, maybe your mother-in-law!) come over and do a “smell test”. IF there are smells that you have grown accustomed to and haven’t been aware of, deodorize surfaces and fabrics in your home with a simple scent and spray, like Febreze. I don’t recommend using candles, strong air fresheners, or diffusers, because those actually can draw attention to odor in the home. I’ve been with buyers so many times when we walked into a home and there was an overwhelming scent of air “freshener” and it immediately had the buyer wondering what the sellers were trying to cover up!
Another TIP: Clean up the POO!!!! I cannot stress this enough. During the time period where you’re actively showing your house, you HAVE to remove the yard bombs. There is nothing worse than a potential buyer stepping in you-know-what. So, do not forget about the yard. House tours often include outdoor viewings – so make sure you’re out there with a pooper scoop daily and/or before showings.
Do Remove Your Dog for Showings
You may think it’s ok to leave your dog out in the backyard, or in a crate in the bedroom during home showings, and if this is your ONLY option, it’s ok, but it’s definitely not ideal for several reasons. Number one, dogs can make people feel nervous and uncomfortable. Let’s face it, not everyone loves your dog like you do, plus your dog may act very differently when strangers are walking around your home. A normally calm, docile dog may get his or her protective intincts going when strangers are there and you’re not. Number two, it’s stressful to have your home invaded by strangers – especially when the dog has been crated for potentially several hours if there are a bunch of showings back-to-back.
So, the best thing to do with your dog during showings – for the dog, for the buyers, and for you – is to get them out of the house. There are plenty of options here. You could ask a friend or neighbor to dog sit. You could employ a local dog watching service. Or, if there’s just one showing, you can even wait for the buyers to come and then simply take your dog for a long walk.
In your normal life, you want your dog to be a part of everything you do – as you should. When selling a home, however, it’s best to go against this norm. In order to make your home more attractive to potential buyers and to preserve yours (and your dog’s!) health and sanity, employ these tips to make the home selling process easier, quicker, and better for everyone.
Want to talk more about the home selling process? You know I’m only a phone call, text, or email away so get in touch!
Article contributed to by Alex Robbins.