Pets and Home Showings - Tips From A Home Stager

By
Home Stager with Dezigner Digz

Roxy - 1.5 years old

Look at this picture.  You've got to love her.  No wonder they call dogs Man's Best Friend.  Nobody loves dogs more than I do, however, when you are selling your home there are certain things you need to consider:

  • Hair - As the owner of a Golden Retriever, I sure know what it's like to keep on top of the constant accumulation of pet hair.  No matter how many times you clean, the hair will seem to magically reappear within no time at all.  It's important while selling your home that you vacuum and sweep on a daily basis to keep on top of it.  If only I could train my dog to push a broom!
  • Odours - Make sure that you keep litter boxes clean.  They should be emptied on a daily basis.  Any furniture that your pets sit or sleep on should be steam cleaned and deodorized.  You may not notice these odours yourself as you live there.  It might be a good idea to ask a friend if they can detect anything.  Don't be offended if they are honest with you.  After all, that's what you want. 
  • Fear of Dogs - If at all possible, try to leave your pets with a friend or family member during showings and especially during Open Houses.  Some people are afraid of dogs.  No matter how friendly Rover is, when a potential buyer sees him racing down the hallway at full speed, he might get frightened.  You want to encourage people to spend time looking around your home.  They won't if they are scared of your dog.  It can also be a very nerve racking experience for agents to go to your home (especially when you are not there) to do a showing and wonder what sort of reception they will receive on the other side of the door. 
  • The Great Escape - Have your real estate firm advise other agents prior to showings that you own pets.  They should be instructed not to let them outside and to take care that they don't try to escape.
  • Toys - Put away all of your pets toys and leashes during showings.  They create clutter and can be a potential hazard to small children that are accompanying their parents for a showing.      
  • Lawn Care - It's important to also maintain your lawn.  Pick up after your pets on a regular basis and water your lawn frequently (unless there are water bans in your area).  This will help keep your lawn from getting burn marks, especially in very hot weather.

(I couldn't get my Golden Retriever to pose today - she just wouldn't cooperate.  Maybe she was having a bad hair day.  This picture is from the Canadian Golden Retrievers website.)

Charlene Storozuk, Dezigner Digz

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Rainer
121,257
Lori Hakeem Oxley
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc. - Tampa, FL

Very true on all accounts.  I have three dogs, so I understand it can be difficult.  My latest pet issue was an "attack cat" that clawed up my ankle because I was going upstairs!!!  Good grief!!

July 11, 2007 03:16 PM #1
Rainer
1,857
susan cunningham
JPA - Suwanee, GA
I just had a situation where I had to advise a seller to not have their cockatoo (sp?) & his cage in the kitchen!  I was very gentle about my suggestion, and were very compliant.  : )
July 11, 2007 03:21 PM #2
Rainmaker
299,622
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

Great list and so important to remind sellers about while showing.  Allergies are another concern for many and even with the cleanest of properties pet dander can be a real problem for some prospective buyers. Your list was very comprehensive.

July 11, 2007 04:02 PM #3
Rainer
55,199
Margaret Ann Innis
Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging - Andover, MA
Real Estate Staging - MA & NH
"Love me - Love my dog!"  Can't always happen.  In some cases, the future buyer may have a guide dog with them, also.  
July 11, 2007 06:08 PM #4
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Charlene, I think pets are a  huge turnoff to potential buyers.  I myself either put my dogs in the back yard, or load them up in the car for a bye-bye, and I advise the same to my clients.  I also recommend they do a quick spot check around the house before vacating, to make sure there are no "surprises" left on the carpet.  I once walked into a house for sale and there was a ginormous pile of dog poo in one of the bedrooms.  Oops, no way to make a sale is it?  By the way, I love the way you Canadians spell odour.  It looks so cosmopolitian!

Terry Haugen - STAGE it RIGHT!

July 11, 2007 07:54 PM #5
Rainmaker
145,471
Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario

Lori- An 'attack cat' - that's too funny!  The worst part was that you probably had to tell your client what a cute little guy he was.

Susan - A cockatoo in the kitchen - wow!  Glad your client was willing to move him elsewhere.

Karen - Thanks for your kind words.  I never thought of allergies - good one!

Margaret - You're right, you can't always leave your pets with someone else and yes the roles could be reversed.  It could be the potential buyer bringing a guide dog with him or her.  P.S. I love your logo!

Terry - The quick spot check is a good idea.  I can't imagine how a potential buyer would feel coming across that.  P.S.  I bet you'd love the way we spell colour too!  LOL

July 12, 2007 08:15 AM #6
Rainmaker
268,686
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

I have been advising my clients to make the home appear as if no pets lived there because they soon won't be. It is a big hassle to sell a home, but especially if you have small children, pets or elderly folk.  However, the pets have to be off premises and the dishes, food, litter boxes & leashes also. That is my advice, anyway - it isn't always followed. The people want to go into the backyard and check it all out, closets, spare bedroom, laundry - so there is no where to hide them.

Doggy day care, friends,  the neighbor's garage and kennels.  I'm glad my house is not for sale - we have dogs and cats.

July 12, 2007 10:32 AM #7
Rainer
143,449
Juliet Johnson
Vizzitopia - Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Jacksonville Social Media Marketing

This can be a dreadful issue!  I've got a freshly done house where not only does the homeowner insist that the menagerie stay in place, further she stays too to chat and make friends.  It's going to ruin my stats!!! <gr>

Since you ask, the lady has 2 dogs, 2 cats, 4 parrots and a very smelly rabbit. (who goes out of a bedroom window to play on the roof with one of the cats.  It's somewhat endearing, but not really what a $2 million buyer is looking for, you know?

July 12, 2007 10:42 AM #8
Rainmaker
663,882
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"
Great tips and ones that I wish all sellers would read and follow!
July 12, 2007 11:26 AM #9
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Yep Charlene, love all the "our" spelling of your words!  How long does it take to become a Canadian :-)?

Terry Haugen - STAGE it RIGHT!

July 12, 2007 03:15 PM #10
Rainmaker
145,471
Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario

Kathleen & Maureen - Thanks for your comments

Juliet - I bet people don't stay long at that house!  I hope it doesn't affect your stats too much.

Terry - First you have to master the art of:  (1) playing hockey  (2) drinking strong beer and (3) using the word 'eh' a lot.  I could probably give you some pointers on the last two!  - Just kidding.

July 13, 2007 08:25 AM #11
Rainer
17,548
Stephanie Heron
Dressing Rooms LLC - Scottsdale, AZ
Weeber - Dressing Rooms

Hi Charlene - thanks for the reminders. I have two goldens and my house is on the market! My REA shows by appointment only mainly so I can vacuum up the dog hair and get my little darlings into the car and take them to Starbucks:) I clear away any evidence of pets - always doing one last sweep of the back yard before we leave. I have been told that you would never guess the house had dogs living in it.

By the way - we spell kinda funny in my house too - I am a Brit and my husband is a Canadian.

Stephanie

July 18, 2007 10:26 AM #12
Rainmaker
145,471
Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario
Stephanie - Thanks for your comments.  Wow, two goldens - you have your hands full!  They're great dogs aren't they?  Good luck selling your home.  I'm sure you have staged it beautifully, so it won't be on the market for long. 
July 18, 2007 02:27 PM #13
Rainer
3,657
Carolyn Hollier
Atlanta, GA

This makes sense and all but I have two cats what should I do with their litterbox? I have no where to take the cats and it would be hard if not impossible to take them out of the home before each showing. And I cant take their litterbox away, I wouldnt want them to make a mess on the floor.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm just going to buy a house first then sell the old one last. Which is why I must wait until I can afford it!  Thanks for the tip though ;)

August 16, 2007 10:07 PM #14
Rainmaker
145,471
Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario
Carolyn - You're right, litterboxes are a problem - you can't exactly hide them and you can't put your cats outside for showings if they are indoor cats.  Thanks for your comments! 
August 17, 2007 11:54 AM #15
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Rainmaker
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Charlene Storozuk

Home Stager - Burlington Ontario
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