Staging your house for sale can be a lot of work. There is clutter to clear-out, small repairs to be made and gorgeous photos to strive for. Many home sellers make beautifying their home the top priority and forget about how they will "live" there while it is on the market, especially when pets are involved.
The best solution is to remove your pet when your house is going to be shown. If no one will be home to do this, arrange for a pet service, neighbor, friend or family member to help. A better option might be to look into a doggy daycare for the times you will be at work or otherwise away from home.
When your house is on the market, the biggest rule of thumb is not to advertise that you have a pet! Just because you adore your pet, buyers don’t want to be reminded that one lives in the house they are considering (even if they themselves are pet owners). Hide all the paraphernalia related to their care. No water bowls, food containers or supplies should be in sight, particularly a dirty litter box! Hide Spot’s toys in the closet or in a tasteful ottoman and take down all pictures of you and your cockatiel so that potential buyers aren’t thinking about for any bird droppings lurking behind the curtains.
Your pet’s home must stay show-worthy too! If you have small pets like fish, birds or hamsters that must stay in the home, make sure their cages and tanks sparkle. Wipe down perches daily, sponge off any algae and keep those wood chips fresh – a dirty, soiled cage will certainly detract from the beauty of your home. This is also a good time to keep your pets pampered (i.e. combed and groomed) to cut down on hairy furniture.
Remember, if buyers can’t smell them – they don’t exist! Animal odours could be a turn-off for many buyers-to-be. Your massive cleanup before listing should include a deodorizing of all carpets, drapes, linens and surfaces that may contribute to your home’s pet scent. Try not to mask them with artificial fresheners, which might just make the situation worse. Your best bet is to get these items professionally cleaned and to vacuum, sweep, dust and remove hair daily. Also, if Sparkie and Fluffy like to nap on your faux-suede sofa, throw a blanket over top so that when you do get the call for a showing, simply toss the blanket in the dryer, grab the pets and leave. You may want to spend 10 minutes tidying up first.