Don’t Let Your Open House Go to the Dogs
Pets are family, but sometimes, your family needs to vacate the premises when your home is on the market. Dogs are wonderful and most people love them, but they can be a distraction that costs you time and possibly money.
The average home in Gilbert sells for around $337,000, according to data collected by Redfin. If you want to squeeze out every last penny of your home’s value, you’ll need to make sure your furry friend doesn’t stand in your way during the open house or subsequent private showings. Keep reading for ways to set the scene so that your pet doesn’t affect your home value.
Dog on site or out of sight?
Out of sight. That’s exactly where your dog(s) should be when there are strangers in the home. At your open house, which many realtors view as an essential part of the selling process, the fewer distractions, the better. Instead of keeping your pup at home, see if a friend or relative can take him for a few hours. If that’s not an option, you can find a local pet sitter to watch your pet (sitters typically charge $20 - $40 a day). Removing your dog from your home will reduce his stress as well as your own.
Getting ready for the big day
Your open house is a big event, and like any good event, it requires plenty of preparation. Your first priority is to get the place spic and span. And not “birthday party tomorrow” clean, but more “my mother-in-law will be here for a week with every member of my spouse’s family that I’ve never met” clean. Your home should look like a showplace, and it’s up to you to set the stage to impress. In addition to giving you a sparkling clean home to live in for a few weeks or months, proper preparation may help you sell your home more quickly, meaning you can get out and get on with the rest of your life.
Cleaning tasks to tackle
Before you pick up your broom and mop, talk to your realtor about which pieces of furniture should be sent off to storage. Open as much floor space as possible and only leave a few key pieces to accent each room’s possibility. Speaking of the floors, they should be spotless. ChemDry asserts that it’s best to hire a professional carpet cleaning company, which will have the equipment and expertise to remove stains of all kinds. It may also be in your best interest to bring in a few extra helping hands for your first major cleaning and organizational undertaking.
Your deep cleaning endeavors should include scrubbing the sink and shower faucets with vinegar to remove lime scale buildup, handwashing AC vent covers, and wiping down everything from window sills to picture frames. Molly Maids’ deep cleaning checklist is a good place to start.
The invisible pet
It is not enough to escort your dog through the front door during your open house showings. You should make it so that buyers can’t even tell an animal lives in the home. On top of cleaning, take the time to eliminate odors throughout the house. Move your dog’s bed and food and water bowls to an out-of-the-way corner in the garage, and leave the windows open if the weather is pleasant.
If you really want to impress your guests, tackle simple home repairs that would otherwise detract from your home’s attractiveness. Paint dirty walls, oil squeaky hinges, and replace broken deck boards. These may not seem like a big deal, but your buyers will be scrutinizing every nook and cranny of the property. Money Crashers notes that painting, specifically in modern colors, is an inexpensive way to update the look of your home, especially in the kitchen, which is one of the most important rooms to showcase.
When it’s time to sell, the state of your home matters. When you have pets, you must take extra time and be diligent in your cleaning efforts. One stray furball or uncleaned “accident” may be all it takes to deter an otherwise eager buyer.
-Author, Nick Burton