You think of your pets as family, but if you’re selling your home, it may come as a surprise that not everyone feels the same. For some potential buyers, the sight of a litter box or a clump of hair could be a major turnoff. Not to worry, though! With a few tricks and tips, you can learn how to properly stage your home, and prevent your pet from being a deal breaker, while perking up your home’s potential all around.
Create Curb Appeal
The first thing a buyer will see is the front of your house and the yard, so start your improvements there. Clean up your yard and prune hedges or shrubs. Remove all pet waste and be aware of any leftover odors. If your yard isn’t smelling so fresh, try these tricks to get rid of foul smells. Is your yard still looking a little dull? Spend a weekend planting some low-maintenance flowers that complement your exterior paint colors. Speaking of paint, you’ll want to spend some time freshening that up as well. Have someone pressure wash your house, or do it yourself, and then retouch trim and shutters with fresh paint.
Declutter and Deep Clean
Once you’ve freshened up out front, you’ll want to tidy up inside as well. Start by picking up any scattered items that are cluttering up your space. Place dog or cat toys out of sight in drawers or baskets. Have a designated area to store pet bowls and other items when you’re getting ready to show your home.
Next, give your home a good cleaning. Fur and pet smells tend to stick to everything. You may not notice them, but someone walking into your home for the first time will. Pay special attention to floors and fabrics, and vacuum carpeted spaces several times. Thinking of renting a steam cleaner? Be careful of any old urine or pet stains in your carpet. Heat can actually set those stains in rather than lifting them out, so try a scrub of baking soda and vinegar or another stain remover, first. Wash curtains and any fabrics that will remain in the home while being showed. Maybe even hire a cleaning company to give the place a thorough cleaning. They will get to areas you may not even think of, like those lick marks on the windows and fur trapped in the baseboards.
Let a Little Light in
Now that your house and yard are clean and fresh, you’ll want potential buyers to notice every square foot. If your lighting is off, that could be a problem. The right lighting can make your home look more spacious and can even make the difference between receiving an offer or not. Before showing your home, make sure your curtains are open and any blinds are drawn up. Replace burned-out or dull light bulbs to really brighten things up, and don’t forget to change the bulbs outside as well. Still looking a little dark? Invest in a few lamps to add to corners and closed spaces. If you’re looking to add light outside, try picking up some inexpensive solar lights to accent those new flower beds.
Use Scents That Sell…No Really
With your home looking so warm and inviting, it may help to have it smell good, too. Some realtors even suggest that certain scents sell houses for them. Avoid using heavy scents or air fresheners as these may trigger allergies in some people. Look for candles and diffusers in light scents of vanilla or citrus instead. Besides adding a little extra appeal to your home, scents can also help with any lingering pet odors, especially when showings are a surprise.
Pets and their smells can be distracting when you’re selling your home, but they don’t have to be. With some staging strategies and a little cleaning, you can reel in your perfect buyer. Soon, you and your furry family members can spend less time showing your house and more time snuggling.