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Staging & Selling a Home with Dog & Cat Pets
67% of the population owns a pet according to the 2019-2020 APPA (American Pet Products Association. Millennials and Baby Boomers are the largest percentage of that group. That is up 11% since 1988! Furthermore, the Palm Beaches has an abundance of empty nesters and pets have become more important and more prevalent than ever in our area. Buyers make decisions to move based on their furry friend. Features such as larger fenced backyards and condos in the Palm Beaches that are “Pet Friendly” have become critical to Buyers and can benefit a Seller when marketing their home.
While everyone wants that new doggie in the window (Chloé thankfully was named by my wife who fortunately won naming rights, as my son wanted to name the dog “Chuck Norris”)…
… isn’t as innocent as she looks. Chloé a Cavachon is a mixture of King Charles & Bijon. She joined our Persian rescue cats, Knuckles & Daisy, along with 2 kids and a fish tank. Why we have all these creatures, I’ll save for another blog. This article is on how to stage a house with pets if you are selling. And as you’ll see I’m lucky, our Jupiter home is not for sale!
Pets can destroy a sale. Turn-offs include litter boxes, urine stains on carpeting, odor, lawn droppings, chewed furniture, paw & lick marks on windows, pet food, noise, and even presence. If you have pets, and are thinking of selling, here are my recommendations….
As much as you love your furry friend, there is a chance the new buyers won’t. Some people have phobias, allergies, and some just don’t like animals or have long-standing fears. They get turned off from jumping and licking. Best to keep them out of sight. A car ride is the first choice followed by a walk or perhaps in the garage if cool. The laundry room is the last resort.
See above. Barking and whimpering are a huge distraction.
Model homes that builders are trying to market don’t have pet food, dishes and toys on the floor. Buyers trip on it, smell it, see it. Just remove it or hide in the panty.
Constantly vacuum if you have a shedder. It’s a turn-off and looks like you don’t take care of and clean your home. People with allergies or perceived allergies will almost rule your house out on first sight.
Odor is one of the top reasons people do not purchase. If they don’t like the smell, it is almost impossible to overcome because people do not believe it will come out. Carpeting with lots of stains needs to be replaced. More on that below. Air scrubbers and HEPA filtration are last-ditch efforts.
Carpeting with lots of stains needs to be replaced, not cleaned, including the pad. For one, the stains usually do not come out; secondly, the odor won’t come out because it’s in the padding as well. Think Jerry Seinfeld’s car…”It still Smells!!!”
Do not leave droppings outside. Nothing will kill a sale faster than the Buyer avoiding land mines. The Buyer is there to look at your house. Stepping in you-know-what doesn’t give them that “meant to be” feeling.
Dispose of any chewed or stained furniture. Buyers assume if the sofa is scratched, then other parts of the house are neglected. (I guess we will need to replace ours at some point)
Dogs love to scratch and put their nose to the window. Replace windows or tint with those scratch marks. Constantly wash the areas with nose marks.
Keep it out of sight! First choice would be to throw it in the car trunk so it can’t be seen. Second choice is the garage or covered in the laundry room. You can also purchase litter boxes with covers on them. Seeing litter or sniffing foul odors can be a deal killer turn-off.
Jeff Lichtenstein is owner and broker of Echo Fine Properties, a luxury real estate brokerage selling real estate in Jupiter and homes in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He has 20 years of real estate experience, has closed over a 1,000 transactions, and manages over 50 agents in a non-traditional model of real estate that mimics a traditional business model. Some publications he has been quoted in.
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