Staging 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.
- 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:Good Pet Stuff Hidden Litter Box
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