If you have decided to put your home for sale on the market, you will have to consider all types of buyers; those who love pets and those who don’t. For whatever reason some people just don’t like pets, maybe they are allergic or had some type of past experience, whatever the reason this is not a time to analyze or place judgment on potential buyers.
Before putting a house for sale in which pets have lived with the owners, you are going to need to do a lot of retouching and cleaning. You should move your pets temporarily to some other home until you get a new home for yourself. Or find a neighbor, friend or relative to help you with your pets while you are showing your house to potential home buyers.
Animal or Children Damage and Solutions
Children and animals damage things, there’s no denying that. There has to be a way to fix up the damages, remove the pets from site temporarily, and make the house look as if it had never been lived in by animals or small children.
Here are some solutions to help you clean up the “mess” and make your visitors comfortable with the place.
- Stains on the Floor – If you have carpeted floors, the stains might be difficult to remove. You can seek professional help when it comes to cleaning or washing the carpets, not just to remove stains but also to make them appear clean.
Wooden floors are susceptible to pet scratches and scratches made with toys by children. Consider refinishing if that’s the case in order to make the floor look new and almost unused.
- Pet Odors and Smells – This is one thing most home buyers would definitely not want in their new home. Living in a house with pets makes you immune to the smell, but when an outsider pays a visit, they can instantly whiff pet smells in the house.
Use some professional solution to make these odors go away but don’t use air fresheners. These only provide a temporary solution.
- Signs of a Pet– You don’t want your visitors to sense that a pet has been living in the house. Remove serving bowls, pet toys, pet beds, litter boxes and other things that belong to your pets to give a good first impression. Make sure you remove all pet things from all rooms. Also, if you can avoid having photos of your pets while your selling, that would be ideal.
When it comes to kids, decluttering is one thing that helps achieve a big part of their clean-up. Make sure you don’t have any big piles of toys laying around. If possible, remove all kid safety features throughout the house. It is recommended to start at least a week earlier than the date you want to put the house on the market. Some sellers with kids allow at least a two-hour notice period for showings. This is to clean the house, clear the clutter, and remove or hide any freshly-made stains or scratches.
If there aren’t any hidden cabinets in your home where you can dump the entire clutter if somebody wants to see your home in ten minutes, be prepared to use the car trunk to throw the toys and clean up the place quickly.
Pay particular attention to kids’ bedroom when decluttering your entire house. Organize the cupboards, pack away off-the-season clothes, put away some unused or broken toys, and get rid of gear that is no longer needed.
When you are done staging, take excellent photos of the kids’ bedroom as well as the lawn or front yard, to put them with an ad or your listing.
Repainting is another critical step when you decide to sell off your home that has been lived in by small children. If the walls are dirty or written with crayons, paint etc. it may be a turn-off for some buyers.
If you have older kids at home, get them involved with the staging process and tell them just how great it would be to move into a new home. Ask them to clean up their own room, and provide them with boxes or cartons to store away things they don’t need.
While kids at home can pose a severe threat to your staging efforts, they can also become an inspiration for some people. For example, if you have a children’s playroom or toys room in the house, you can de-clutter it and make it neat and clean to show it off to the visitors.
Similarly, children’s study area can be an attractive thing for some buyers who have kids of their own and who would like to buy a place that is child-friendly.
In all cases, highlight the features that your potential home buyers would love most by staging and props to highlight the areas. I typically, give my clients advice on how to best stage their home for the home buyers we want to attract.