Trying To Sell a Home With Pets? Read This First! By Taryn Lund

petsStaging your property when you have pets in the house presents a unique challenge for home owners. Most articles suggest removing the pets from the home while the house is on the market, but that can be stressful for both the animals and owners. You wouldn’t send your children away for a couple of months just because things tend to be a little (okay, a lot) messier with them around. So here are a few tips and strategies for keeping your home looking it’s best while your pets are in the home.

General Preparation

  • Have someone that is NOT a pet owner, and that is willing to be completely objective and honest with you, tour your home and point out smells they notice (you might be immune to them at this point and simply not notice).
  • Commonsense: CLEAN! Professionally clean all carpets and use special cleaners (or professional ozone specialists) for areas where pets have repeatedly urinated. One product I have personally used for removing cat urine stains (to great results) is Odorxit. You can also search sites like Yelp and Angie’s List to find reliable move-out cleaning companies in your neighborhood. And finally, look for discounts on sites like Youswoop, Groupon, and LivingSocial.
I would highly recommend changing your litter box to a “hidden” or disposable option. Here are a few choices:planter litter boxGood Pet Stuff Hidden Litter Box
cabinet litter boxMerry Products Cat Washroom-Night Stand & Pet House in White
disposable litter boxCats Desire Disposable Litter Boxes

trash can litter box

Mox Litter Tower

Day of Showings

  • Vacuum all rugs, carpets, and upholstered furniture and sweep and dry swiffer all hard surfaces like wood floors and tile
  • Clean out (or throw away) litter boxes and remove the trash from your home. Make sure you completely change the litter the morning of the showing and not just scoop it out.
  • Pick up and put away, out of sight, all toys, leashes, and food dishes.
  • If you are able, take dogs with you out of the home during the showing. If that is not a possibility try to place them in doggy day care or with family/friends that are familiar with your pet and that your pet is comfortable with. If pets must remain in the home place the animals in carriers or cages with notes not to disturb. This is for the safety of your pets and to ease the comfort of those that might be timid around animals.
  • Never use scented air fresheners or candles to try and cover odors as they can be bothersome to people with allergies.

Post written by Taryn Lund of Chicago ReDesign

A Beautifully Staged Home Should Also Smell Fresh and Clean by Patty Mamone

Even cute little puppies like these can wreak havoc when you’re selling your house…

A Beautifully Staged Home Should Also Smell Fresh and Clean | Home Staging Tips

Any unusual or offensive odors can threaten the sale of your home. Take steps now to prevent unpleasant scents from sabotaging your showings:

When selling your home, don’t forget the strong first impression that fragrance can make.

Any odor perceived as unpleasant or even just unusual can turn off your potential buyers. The same cooking aroma that makes your mouth water when entering your favorite restaurant is considered a flaw (or worse!) when looking at properties to purchase. Odors from smoking, mold, chemicals, strong perfumes, and of course, pets, can make buyers cross your home off their list. To further complicate matters, homeowners adjust to the scents of their own homes and can’t tell when there’s a problem.

Large retailers and the hospitality industry routinely use pleasant fragrances when marketing their products. Before listing, create an action plan for a fresh, clean scent ambiance when marketing your product – your home!

  • Professionally clean all carpeting, upholstery, and draperies.  In the Chicago area, we’ve had great results with Executive Green Clean.
  • Launder or clean all bedspreads, curtains, linens, and window blinds.
  • Change filters in furnaces, air conditioners, humidifiers, air cleaning machines, etc.
  • Promptly clean and neutralize any pet accidents with a specialized enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle.
  • Thoroughly clean (or even eliminate) older silk plants, throw pillows, and crafty decor items that act as dust-catchers.
  • Prior to listing, sweep unfinished cement basement and garage floors with sweeping compound, then wet mop.
  • Bathrooms and tub/shower areas should be cleaned and sparkling from top to bottom.
  • Regularly run a combination of ice cubes and lemon/orange peels through the garbage disposal to keep fresh.
  • Keep pet cages, crates, and litter boxes clean. Bathe dogs frequently while house is on the market to prevent that ambient “doggy” smell.
  • Vacuum floors and furniture frequently.
  • Don’t allow smoking in the house or garage while house is on the market.

Whew!  That’s quite a long list.

Post written by Patty Mamone of Kallista Interiors

4 Neutral Paint Colors for Staging Your Home by Taryn Lund

Home Staging is the art of depersonalizing your home, and highlighting its best features to make it appealing to the broadest range of potential buyers. So it makes sense that in order to depersonalize, you’ll need to neutralize. According to “The colors potential buyers see when they enter your home should be neutral so that the buyers will not be distracted by someone else’s style. They should see the walls of your home as a blank canvas on which to project their own preferences and style.”

Benjamin Moore colors to consider for neutralizing and refreshing your property:

  • HC-172 Revere Pewter  – an incredibly versatile neutral that looks great everywhere and pleases both contemporary and traditional tastes
  • HC-81 Manchester Tan  – Looks like linen; complement this light neutral with chocolate browns and pops of white and blue
  • HC-26 Monroe Bisque  – A creamy ecru shade with hints of brown that looks great with today’s go-to neutral, gray
  • 1037 Muslin – Use this in bathrooms or kitchens to coordinate with and diminish pinky-beige countertops and tile

staging colors

Some additional paint tips:

  • A low-sheen product will help reduce the imperfections on walls and ceilings.
  • To create the illusion of higher walls, paint the moldings the same color as the wall
  • It might seem counter-intuitive, but white does NOT make a good neutral – without very bright sunlight, white will always feel cold and gray because of shadowing.
  • Add color back into your home with accessories like rugs, throw pillows, curtains, and decorative items. Create a bold yet simplified palette (like turquoise and red or coral and gold) and repeat it throughout the house. The color repetition will catch potential buyer’s eye and will ensure they remember the property after the showing.

Post written by Taryn Lund of Chicago ReDesign