The hardest part of selling your home isn’t settling on an asking price or dealing with hesitant buyers. As a seller, your biggest headache is keeping your house in show-ready condition from start to finish. And if you have a pet, that challenge is only multiplied. How in the world can you keep your floors spotless when you have a furry pet running about? It’s easier than you think when you follow our advice.

Most buyers don’t want to see signs of pets in a home. In order to maximize your home’s appeal, it’s important to detail your home in a way that masks your pets’ presence.

The first step is a deep clean. It’s easiest if you hire this job out to a professional cleaning service, however, it can also be done DIY with some tool rentals and a few days’ time. Clean floors, wash linens, vacuum couches and spot-treat stains on furniture. Dust and lightly wash walls, trim, and ceiling fans before moving on to the interior of closets and cabinets — you never know where pet hair and odors are lingering. Outside, clean the yard of pet waste, fill holes, and repair landscaping damaged by your pet. Start the process several weeks before listing your home so bare patches of lawn have time to regrow.

Next, turn your eyes to the floors. Carpeting traps odors and stains from pet accidents and muddy paws. It’s recommended to hire a professional carpet cleaning service, but in homes with minimal carpet damage, a rented carpet cleaner from a local home improvement store may be adequate. Before using the carpet cleaner, spot treat stains following instructions from The Humane Society of the United States.

If you have hardwood, take a close look to spot scratches from dog and cat nails. Shallow scratches can be removed using steel wool, then sealed with wax and buffed. As The Spruce explains, deeper scratches require a color-matched wood filler. If pets have urinated on wood floors, leaving dark stains, replace the damaged planks before listing your home. Not only are they unsightly, but the urine-stained wood traps unpleasant pet odors.

To keep the house clean while it’s on the market, consider boarding your pet or asking a friend or family member to provide temporary housing until your home is sold. If that’s not possible, restrict your pet to rooms least vulnerable to new messes, sweep floors daily, keep litter boxes clean, and groom and bathe your pet to minimize shedding and odors. Creating a clean-up station by the door and placing slipcovers over furniture prevents dogs from tracking messes indoors.

Finally, ensure pets are out of the house when prospective buyers visit. Crating pets or leaving them in the backyard isn’t a viable option. Serious buyers want to see every area of your home, but an animal’s presence may dissuade some buyers. Instead, arrange for a pet sitter or walker to take your pet during showings, and pack up your pet’s items so they’re out of sight.

After you move into your new home, the next challenge is preventing damage so it’s easier to sell the next time around. That’s especially true if you’re in the market for a vintage home. A popular choice among today’s buyers, vintage homes in Newton come in at a median price of $1.28 million. Since buyers of vintage homes cherish original details like hardwood floors and moldings, it’s more important than ever to prevent your pets from gnawing or scratching on things they shouldn’t. Often, destructive behavior is a sign that a pet is under-exercised. Consider how you can increase pets’ daily exercise so they’re more relaxed indoors and keep nails trimmed short to prevent flooring damage.

It’s easy for pet owners to be blind to the messes their companions create. However, buyers are sure to notice scratches in the floors and lingering pet odors. Make sure your pets don’t impact the success of your sale by carefully cleaning and fixing up your home before you list.

~ from Cindy Aldridge at OurDogFriends.org 

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