Pets become part of the family, but when it comes time to sell your home, they can hold you
back. Proper staging can be the key to success! Here is how to make your pets disappear so
potential buyers don’t even know your home ever held an animal.
But My Pet Lives Here!
While it’s true your pet is a member of your household, it’s vital to present your home otherwise.
Potential buyers don’t know if your furry, scaly, or feathered friend is a bosom companion, neat
as a pin, and non-destructive. In fact, most people will assume the opposite, envisioning hidden
stains, lingering fleas, and damaged window sills. Some experts suggest removing any
evidence of pets before taking photos of your home. Your pooch may be adorable in that shot of
the backyard, but many home shoppers will pass by your listing based on that information.
The very first thing you should do is repair any damage from your pet. One recommendation is
to start with your flooring. Superficial scratches on hardwood flooring can be fixed with a stain-
filled marker. Deep gouges will need to be filled with wood filler, sanded, and stained.
Resolving stains in hardwood floors can be more complex. Light stains sometimes lift with
sanding and bleaching, but deep stains require replacing boards.
For carpeting, DIY Network suggests a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and water to lift urine
stains. If your pet vomited on the carpet, try sprinkling baking soda and then administering a
mixture of hydrogen peroxide and dish detergent. You can follow up with shampooing carpets,
which can also help remove lingering odors. US News & World Report recommends asking a
neutral party to walk through your home to ensure you have effectively eliminated pet odors.
Many pet owners need to hire a professional cleaning service to fix address stains and odors in
carpeting and upholstery. The average price to clean carpets or rugs in Stafford, VA is between
$162 and $287. It’s a quick fix with a projected timeline of just two hours.
Don’t Forget the Yard!
Many pets leave “evidence” in the yard, so pick up any piles, repair favorite digging spots, and
remove any hunting trophies your cat or dog left behind. If your lawn shows damage from urine,
Country Living explains you can rake out the damaged grass, apply fine limestone, and water it
into the soil. Then, cover the area with topsoil and grass seed. You’ll need to water daily for a
few weeks, but it’ll have your yard looking like new again!
Success Is in the Details!
Once odors, stains, and damage are resolved, take steps to make your pet’s belongings
disappear. Litter boxes, aquariums, toys, bowls, leashes, bedding and other items all need to be
removed prior to showing your home. You can bring them with you during the showing, along
with your pet, and replace them as soon as you get home. Some professionals note that while
this may be inconvenient, especially if you have exotic pets, it’s well worth the trouble to present
your home as pet-free to buyers. Remember to take down any photos of your family members
as well, including your pets, since you want buyers to be able to envision living in your space.
Seeing personal items only reminds them that you live there.
You’ll also want to keep up the good work you already did by vacuuming daily, wiping down
surfaces, and picking up any “mistakes” as soon as they happen. You can also add candles or
room fresheners for a finishing touch!
It’s important to stage your home properly so your beloved pets don’t hinder your home sale.
Repair any damage and deodorize your home, remove pet-related items, and take your pet
along during showings. Great staging is the key to success for pet owners selling a home!
Cindy is a freelance writer and dog lover. She started OurDogFriends.org as a fun side project for herself and to educate pet owners and potential pet owners about how dogs can enrich our lives. She enjoys writing about dogs and pet ownership.