You’re selling your house! Great! And, you’re a dog owner! Also great! But wait, before we get too carried away, let’s talk about a sensitive subject: real estate and dog owners. Most realtors will tell dog owners they need to turn their dog-friendly home into a no-dog house. Aw.. that’s not very nice. But it’s the reality of real estate. Here are some tips on turning your dog-friendly home into a real estate showcase:
1. Assess the situation: Ask someone objective to walk through your house and yard with the eyes of a potential home buyer and point out evidence of damage or wear and tear caused by your dog: odors, carpet stains, scuffs on the wall, scratches on the floor, nicks in the woodwork, ripped curtains, chew marks on furniture or moldings, torn window screens, digging in the lawn, damaged fencing.
2. Repair Damage: It may cost time and money up front, but you don’t want to lose the momentum a new listing can bring just because potential home buyers are turned off by a little stain in the corner of the living room. Have the carpeting professionally cleaned to remove both stains and odors. Paint walls if they’re scuffed up. Fix torn screens. Repair torn curtains. Pretty much fix everything pointed out by your pretend potential home buyer.
3. Clean:Really clean! In addition to obtaining professional carpet cleaning, open all of the windows to air out the whole house. Buy an odor neutralizing gel. Spray air freshener and clean all upholstery. If you can’t remove furniture covers to wash, then ask the carpet cleaner to also clean your upholstered furniture.
4. Upkeep:Once your home is repaired and cleaned thoroughly, continue to vacuum daily. Brush your dog with a FURminator, which removes the undercoat and reduces shedding by 90%. Trim your dogs nails to avoid further scratching of hardwood floors, carpet, and furniture.
· As much as possible, take your dog out of the house during showings. If your potential home buyer is allergic to dogs, she probably won’t be interested in a home where she sneezed through the whole showing. Some people are even scared of dogs. Not to mention, dogs can be unpredictable if strangers are in their house when you’re not. Even if kenneled, a barking dog can make for a stressful showing.
· If your realtor has several showings over the course of a few days, consider giving your dog a vacation, either at a kennel or at a friend or family’s home. This will make the upkeep a lot easier. Plus, it will be less stressful for you and your dog to not constantly take them in and out of the house.
· Remove all evidence of a dog, including food and water dishes, toys and toy basket, leash, potty pads. Even though you just repaired everything and gave the place a good scrub, some people may still associate a dog with a dirty house.
6. Time to Move? If at all possible, see if you can move before finding your home buyer. Then, you’re free to start your new life with your dog, and you can do whatever the heck you want. Go dig up your brand new yard!