Pet owners are a funny breed. They lavish attention and treats on their furry friends and shower them with love but, when it comes to buying a new home, they want to see no sign that a dog, cat, potbellied pig, or hamster lived in a property they're considering purchasing. On one hand it's a humorous form of hypocrisy; on the other, it's a perfectly understandable concern for someone worried about making such a huge financial investment. A urine-stained carpet, scratched baseboards, clumps of hair in the corners, or torn-up furniture may indicate a damaged house that’ll require a buyer to finance repairs. Prospective buyers are apt to see such signs as characteristic of a dirty, poorly maintained property. That can be a real deterrent for even the least discriminating buyers. When staging a home, it’s important to conceal any evidence that you own pets, even if by law you’re required to disclose that you're a pet owner. Remember, first impressions are crucial when showing your house.
Cover your tracks
In most cases, it’s not difficult to mask the presence of a pet, though it can be easy to overlook things. Most people will miss something that indicates they’re pet owners, usually because they’re so accustomed to having a pet around. Take a good look around your home. Your dog’s or cat’s food and water dishes are familiar, everyday fixtures in your home, but be careful not to overlook them. If you have a doggy-door consider covering it. Vacuum carefully every day, and think about having your carpet professionally cleaned before holding an open house. Put away any pet toys that may be laying around and clean out any part of your house you may have designated as a play or sleep area for your pet.
The big day
You work hard to get your home ready for an open house, but all of that work can be undone if you don't remove your pet while showing your home. Give Fido a little holiday at a boarding facility, leave him with a dog-walking service, or even a family member, on open-house day. Your pooch will get first class treatment and have fun socializing with other canines. It's a great way to serve your purpose while doing something nice for your friend.
By now you’ve probably gone noseblind to many of the smells that anyone walking into your home would notice right away. Be sure to have your home aired out. Remove the litter box or bird cage. Light scented candles throughout the house, and set out bowls of vinegar or coffee beans, which can absorb unpleasant odors, the night before showing your home. If you’re going to use an air freshener, make sure to use the same scent throughout the entire house and vacuum upholstery as well as carpeting, since someone with allergies will be particularly susceptible to any lingering pet hair.
Indications of pet wear and tear make it difficult to give prospective buyers a good first impression of your home. Concealing those signs is an important part of staging your house. It will also keep people from being distracted from the nice features that make yours an attractive and desirable property.