Every seller wants their home to sell quickly and for top dollar. But it takes some planning, organizing and prepping to present your property in the best way possible. When listing a home for sale, I always ask my clients to keep in mind that most buyers are not only looking for shelter but a place to call Home, to fall in love with and make their own. Often this means freshening up the paint, decluttering and even making minor repair. The goal is to create a pleasing environment, engage the buyers and establish a positive emotional connection.
Let’s be honest, not many homeowners enjoy the selling process. It takes time that many don’t have to prepare a home for the market, and buyer visits and open houses can be disruptive, especially for sellers with small children. But what if you are a pet owner? How does that impact the selling process. Working with many pet owners, this question comes up every time. As a dog owner myself, I understand the added stress of keeping a home looking presentable when there is a furry force working against me. I also understand that just as the selling process is disruptive to us humans, the commotion can create anxiety for your pet.
If you’re planning to sell your home and want to make it the most saleable it can be and also as stress-free as possible for all the members of your family, including the furry ones, then here are a few easy tips to follow.
Eliminate The Pet Odour
Nothing turns off a buyer faster than opening the door and being greeted by the smell of a wet dog or a full kitty litter. Having lived with your dog or cat for some time, you might be used to the smells and not think much of them, but buyers will spot them and might form unfavourable opinions about the rest of the house. Don’t be a victim of bad first impressions. The best way to keep pet odours at bay is to start with eliminating the once already there.
Personally, as my dog Logan gets older, I find myself adding area rugs and runners to cover my beautiful hardwood floors. Partially to prevent scratches, but mostly for safety. Logan has the excitement level of the Disney’s character Pluto. Remember Pluto running madly with a bone he stole from the neighbour’s dog? That’s my Logan. Needless to say, slippery hardwood floors are a recipe for a broken hip. Unfortunately, as useful as those rugs are for traction, they make for excellent spots to dry off from a run in the rain or indulge in a scratch fest after dinner. Needless to say, the rugs like to soak up the dog smell which then tends to linger in the home, but getting them professionally cleaned will help eliminate the bad odour.
If you have a dog that loves to lounge on the couch with you, chances are your fur baby leaves behind an odour that could use some refreshing, as well. There are many professional cleaning companies that not only clean carpets and rugs, but will also clean upholstery and eliminate pet odour. Once the carpets and upholstery are cleaned, it will be much easier maintaining you home while it’s on the market.
Hide The Litter Box
The number one question from all the cat owners out there is about the dreaded cat litter box. It’s the one item that you can’t get rid off, but perhaps you can relocate it to a more discreet part of your home while your home is open for buyer visits. Unfortunately, condo dwellers might not have a lot of choice in this department but First thing’s first, though. Give the litter box a good cleaning and make sure the litter is changed frequently. Also consider getting a litter box with a cover or lid that will help contain the smell. Remember to give your cat a bit of time to get used to the new location of the box. So if you will be moving the box for the duration of the time your home is on the market, do it a few days before the first showing or open house so that your cat can get used to it. The last thing you want is an unwanted “present” for potential buyers to see.
Clean Up The Backyard Mess
As the snow melts, the results of those early mornings of opening the backyard door to let the dog out become visible. Let’s be honest. A backyard full of dog poop makes a bad impression. Spend a few minutes in your backyard cleaning up the mess. Condo dwellers that place Potty Patches on the balcony, remember to keep it clean and replace it often.
Fight The Perpetual Fur Fight
If you live with a cat or a furry dog you will know what I mean by this. It never ends! The moment you put down the vacuum cleaner, there is that fluffy ball of fur gliding carelessly across the floor. Nevertheless, it has to be done. Dog hair is not only a matter of housekeeping, but also impacts allergies and overall air quality. These days there are many housekeeping products on the market that help tremendously with keeping your home pet hair and dust bunny free. Brands like Swiffer are great to keep on hand for dusting, mopping and cleaning up occasional accidents.
Remember That Not Everyone Is A Pet Lover
It’s hard to believe, I know, but not everyone is crazy about dogs or cats as much as you are. Whether it’s allergies or bad past experiences, some people are not comfortable around pets even if they’re very friendly and well behaved. As the goal is to make your home available for viewing to as many buyers as possible, make an effort to keep the pets out of the way. Putting them in the back yard, in the garage or in another room that you keep locked is insufficient, not to mention, unfair to your four-legged friends.
If you’re able to leave your pup or cat with a friend or a family member for a few days, that is a great solution to make things easier on you as well as your fur baby. Selling your home can be a stressful time with the constant disruptions. Pets are sensitive creatures and can sense when the home environment is not as it should be. Depending on the breed, a lot of noise or commotion can create anxiety. If you’re unable to leave your pet with friends or family, consider boarding your dog or arranging for a dog walker or doggie daycare for the hours during the day when showings will be likely scheduled. There are a number of fun and reputable dog daycares and boarding services in Toronto that offer a great solution. If you live in the west end, Animal Haus is a good option. This dog hotel is also a vet clinic and animal hospital, so you know your pup is in good hands. The entire building is 12,000 square feet, but Animal Haus takes up the second floor space. While they count dogs as their main clients, they're also cat-friendly.
In the east end, No Bones About It in The Beach is a good spot if you need a few hours of fun time for your pup during showing times or a weekend open house. And if you call Midtown your home, Metro Dog Stop in Davisville is a great facility whether you’re looking to board your pet for a few days or prefer the daycare options for a few hours a day.
Our dogs bring us so much joy. It’s proven fact that owning a pet enriches one’s life and makes us happier and healthier, so why not return the favour? If you share your life with a four-legged friend and looking for helpful tips on living with pets, check out Tips To Help Pet Owners Keep Their Homes Clean to help you maintain a tidy home. And if you’re looking to purchase a pet-friendly urban space, check out Buying a Condo Your Dog Will Love.
Are you on the hunt for that perfect place to share with your pooch? Do you have questions or topic ideas about caring for dogs in the city? Contact Monika@urbaneer.com for insights and information as it pertains to Toronto real estate and living with pets.
And please know we're here to help!
Guest Writer: Monika MacMillan, Sales Representative
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage - (416) 530-1100