So you’ve found the agent you want to work with, you’ve determined a sale price, you’ve decluttered and depersonalized your home, photos have been taken and the listing is up on MLS. It’s all smooth sailing from here, right? Not necessarily. For busy families, maintaining a spotless house for the onslaught of showings is no easy task. It can also be a challenge to get your family out of the house on short notice, and this task becomes even more difficult if you have pets to manage.
First impressions can make or break the sale, and you don’t want there to be any distractions from a family deciding that yours is their future dream home. Most real estate agents agree that pets (cats and dogs) should be removed from the home during a showing or open house. So what do you do with your four-legged friends?
• Take your dog for a long walk or to a leash-free park and let them run wild.
• If your agent has scheduled an open house, arrange to have your pet stay at a friend or family member’s house, or have them boarded at a kennel.
• If weather conditions are mild and favourable, consider a temporary pen outdoors. Your real estate agent will alert agents showing the home that your pet will safely stay in the pen. You can purchase a 6′ × 6′ pen that can go with you when you move. Temporary pens keep pets out of the rest of your backyard and away from landscaping while unsupervised.
• Keep in mind that even when your pet isn’t in the house, signs of their presence linger. Make sure you vacuum every day: pet hair is a major turnoff to most potential homebuyers. And keep the litter box squeaky clean and out of sight.
• Animal odours are subtle. Simmer a couple cinnamon sticks and orange peel in water for 30 minutes before showings. Mist water scented with lemon or orange on window coverings, use cleaning products with a fresh scent and wipe all surfaces before a showing, including countertops, window sills, walls and doors.
It’s said that buyers will make up their minds about a home in less than five minutes of entering and then spend the rest of the time rationalizing their decision. Don’t let your furry friends have a negative impact on that first impression.