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