When it comes time to sell your home, you have to get everyone in the house on board with showing your home in the best light. Real estate agents talk about home staging, which means decluttering, and giving your home decor an overhaul so that it can appeal to a wide range of buyers. Part of giving your home that clean look is the task of removing personal items like framed family photos, and souvenirs. Something that might be more complicated than putting personal items in storage, such as finding a safe place for your pets and their necessities.
Yes, that’s right, while you love your pets, potential buyers might not be on the same wavelength, even if they have pets of their own. Just because someone is a dog or cat person, doesn’t mean they want to be tripping over your dog’s chew toy or cat’s litter box during an open house. And let’s not mention pet smells. During showings, you’ll need to take your pets to a pet hotel, maybe to a neighbor’s house, or with you somewhere out of the house. Before the showings begin, there are some necessary steps to take to get your home clean and ready to welcome those strangers who might become the new owners of your home.
There are professionals out there who specialize in staging who can help you get the job done, but before you hire a stager, you can consider adding these products to your arsenal to keep your home clean. These extra cleaning tools can be especially helpful in between showings when you want to give your home a refresh after you and your pet (or pets) have spent time at home.
Potential buyers want to walk into a clean crisp home. Beyond decluttering and going for a deep clean, checking your air quality is a must. You can start by cleaning your HVAC filters to be sure that your heating and cooling systems are working with fresh air. To take it up another level, you can add a HEPA air purifier. When you bring an air purifier into your home, it removes harmful substances like dander that might trigger allergic reactions in some people. This factor is especially important during an open house because you never know if your perfect buyer will be allergic to pets or not, and the last thing you want is to scare them away because your home triggers their allergies. An air purifier also helps to remove unpleasant odors that may be trapped in walls, floors, or furniture. Having an air purifier installed can be a selling point for your real estate agent to share during an open house.
If you have pets that shed hair, a high-quality vacuum is a must. While the best of the best could cost you a few hundred dollars or more, you could recoup that money when you sell your pet hair-free house to the highest bidder. You want to look for a vacuum that is designed to work in several key areas of your home including floors, carpets, and upholstery. Pet hair clings especially well to couch cushions and furniture with a velvet finish, and you may want to consider switching to leather furniture if pet hair is a major issue. Depending on the size of your home and how much pet hair you are dealing with you may want to consider a heavy-duty model to really get the job done before the most important showings.
If your pets don’t shed much, or you don’t have a lot of upholstered furniture, a lint brush is a useful tool to have on hand. When you don’t want to pull out the vacuum, you can grab the lint brush for a quick touch-up. A lint brush can also help in hard-to-handle places like curtains or for dark clothing where pet hair can really show. Your lint brush can also do wonders for lamp shades, which can be an issue especially if you have cats.
Light-colored carpets and couches are a natural target for pet stains and you never know when you might need to quickly clean up a stain before a showing. The best bet is to get a stain remover designed specifically for pet accidents and odors. These cleaners often contain enzymes that contain bacteria that break down the molecules from food, urine, and feces. The enzyme breaks the molecules down, and bacteria get rid of them — a process that works well on carpets and furniture (but be sure to do a spot test first).
For homes with hardwood or laminate floors, getting them refinished might be a necessary part of the home staging process. Pets can leave your floors scratched and scuffed, instead of shiny and new, and refinishing can take care of that problem. Before you start refinishing your floors, you can first try a floor polish and restorer for areas that are in need of some TLC. If after a thorough job of cleaning and polishing you still see a lot of stains and imperfections, it’s time to bring in the professionals.
When you are getting your home ready to sell, don’t overlook the yard. Dog owners might need to take special care to clear away any traces that a dog has done its business in the yard. If you are more in the habit of walking your dog, then this might not be an issue, but if you do need to clean your yard, you can opt for a scooper set which can be easier to handle than simply using a plastic bag. For dog owners, checking that your yard is free and clean can be on your checklist of must-do tasks to make sure your house is ready for a showing.
While there are extra considerations when you are selling a house with pets, getting prepared with the right tools is the best strategy to get your home clean, and looking and smelling its best.