If you asked your Realtor what the three biggest home selling problems are, they would probably answer “kids, pets and dirt.” Unfortunately, if you have the first and/or the second, you definitely have an ongoing problem with the third! It can make life crazy for the time span your home is listed for sale. Here are some tips to keep your home show ready and your sanity intact, when selling with kids and pets.
Let’s look at pets first.
You have to keep in mind that while your dogs may be treasured members of the family, and Fluffy the cat is just the sweetest thing on 4 feet, not everyone likes pets. Some people are afraid of, allergic to or nervous around pets. Your pets are stressed because strangers keep coming into their territory and might just be a bit unpredictable. The best solution is to find somewhere your pets can stay while you are selling. It may not be the best thing for your emotional needs, but it is the optimal solution for selling. It means you can removed everything pet related out of the house.
If that isn’t possible, make sure that you do the following: fix all pet damage to the home. Clean or replace stained carpets, fix hardwood floor scratches or stains and fill in any holes your pups may have dug in the back yard. Also be sure to completely eliminate any pet odors. When you do your deep clean prior to listing, use an enzyme based cleaning product to remove odors. Keep new odors out by being absolutely scrupulous about cat little boxes being cleaned, carpets and furniture being vacuumed and use natural ways to scent your home, such as essential oil diffusers.
Along with that pack up all the pet accoutrement like toys and beds. Before a showing, scoop them all up, including food dishes, and hide them away in an out of the way area – NOT a closet, people look in those!
It’s much the same with kids.
Pack up all but a few toys, clean out and declutter their bedrooms, and enlist their help to keep the place in show ready condition. Request that your Realtor give you enough warning that you can vacuum through, pick up any toys, baby gear, pet stuff, grab kids and Fido and head out the door. If that’s one hour or three, make sure you have time to spare.
Hang in there and remember, you’ve got this!