How to Stage Your Home to Sell When You Have a Pet
Photo via Pixabay by Hobokenhome7
Staging a home to sell is an important part of putting it on the market; not only do you need to make sure your house is clean, neat, and presentable for potential buyers, you also need to look at how accessible it is and what the environment says to someone who is interested. For instance, if you have pets and there are noticeable odors as soon as you walk in, you’ll want to clean and remove all signs of your animal. No matter how friendly or adorable your pet is, a potential buyer will likely be turned off at the sight of food dishes or a dog house in the backyard. Animals can signify damage, dander, and unsightly odors that can be hard to get rid of, so it’s best to remove your pet from the scene altogether.
It can be difficult to know where to begin when preparing your home for potential buyers, but it helps to get organized so that nothing gets left out. With a good plan and some useful tips, you can stage your home beautifully for a successful sale.
Relocate Your Pet
It can be difficult to even think about doing, especially if your pet is like another family member, but relocating him while the home is on the market -- or at least for days when there are open houses or buyers walking through -- will really be in your best interest. Ask a close friend to pet-sit, or consider boarding him with a responsible pet lover nearby.
Remove His Belongings
Seeing pet dishes, toys, and leashes around is just as bad as seeing the actual pet where a buyer is concerned, so remove his belongings along with him, or box them up for the time being. Don’t forget to check the yard, especially if he spends a lot of time there.
Even if your dog is well-behaved and doesn’t make many messes, you might find that he’s been digging in the backyard or that his hair has gotten all over the couch and curtains. Go through each room in your home and take a good look at everything in natural light to see what needs to be cleaned. The carpets, furniture, and drapes should be steam-cleaned, if possible, and the walls wiped down as well. Make sure to look in corners and around baseboards where pet hair can stick and create dust balls.
Do Your Research
Many homeowners who are selling are doing so because they want to upgrade, or because they are investing in a fixer-upper. As a pet-owner, it’s important to do your research when it comes to buying a new home to work on so you can make sure he’s safe and comfortable in the new place once it’s done. It’s also imperative to know exactly what your budget will be so there won’t be any nasty surprises down the road. The median price of a fixer-upper home in Livingston, New Jersey is $349,000, and you’ll need to have a nice cushion in your savings account to ensure you can get all the projects taken care of in a timely manner.
Staging a home, selling a home, and buying a home are three very big jobs, so don’t be afraid to call in a professional if you feel you need help. Keeping your pet safe and happy during the entire process is key, so it’s important to spend time with him and show him some extra affection during this time, especially if he becomes anxious when change occurs.
Tips to Keep your Dog Safe and Secure in His New Home
A move is stressful for humans, but while it may add some chaos to your life, relocating can turn a dog’s world upside-down. Dogs are creatures of habit. They grow accustomed to their usual surroundings and derive a good part of their sense of security from their territory. When a move is necessary, however, there are several ways to minimize the stress on your dog and make sure that he’s safe during and after the process, as well.
Gradual changes are best for a dog
It’s always best to approach any significant change in a dog’s life with caution and introduce it gradually. For example, you can start packing early so that a sudden appearance of moving boxes doesn’t confuse your dog. And while you’re preparing for the move, be mindful of the commotion you create and how it can negatively affect your dog. If possible, set aside a “safe-zone” -- an area reserved last for packing that is sheltered from noise and movement of professional movers. Keeping the dog bed, crate, toys and other creature comforts in a separate area helps tremendously to maintain stability in your dog’s life.
Keep your mood in check
During this time you’re likely to be stressed out, as moves are major decisions in anyone’s life. Keep in mind that dogs can mirror our anxieties, so make sure you keep a calm demeanor. Use the move as an opportunity for additional bonding between you and your dog. Longer, more frequent walks, more cuddling, stepping up training sessions or just hanging out together can go very far in calming your dog’s nerves.
On moving day, consider asking someone to watch your dog during the move. You want the first day at his new house to be full of pleasant memories, not the loud and disturbing commotion of a move.
Set a stage at the new home
When it comes time to introduce your dog to the new home, apply the same staging techniques from your pre-move. Setting up a comfortable area for your dog filled with his favorite things will help him assimilate into his new surroundings. Don’t forget extra attention at this time as well, since your dog will likely be very confused and looking for reassurances. Social isolation is a primary source of frustration for dogs, which can result in destructive behavior and attempts to escape.
At the new house, it’s important to make sure that your dog is safe and secure. If you haven’t already done so, assess all potential dangers to your dog. Hide electrical cables, remove toxic plants, secure curtain and blind cords, and make sure your dog does not have access to dangerous chemicals in lower cabinets.
If you have a fenced-in yard at the new home, this could be an excellent resource for his playtime and safety, and your convenience. If not, a move is an ideal time to consider the investment in a fenced yard. Although a fenced-in yard is not a replacement for frequent walks and supervision, it permits your dog to have additional territory for him to explore and enjoy. It costs an average of $2,670 to install or build a fence. The investment will pay off for both you and your dog.
If you adopt a gradual plan to introduce a new residence to your dog, you can greatly reduce his anxiety during and before the move. By reinforcing your bond with your dog, taking the time to familiarize him with the location and ensuring that the new house is free of dangers your dog will be enjoying his home in no time.
Photo Credit: SplitShire
Written by Cindy Aldridge