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5 Things Every Dog Owner Needs to Do When Showing Their Home

First things first:

Do not leave your dog at home during a showing. You love your dog, but not everyone else does. But leaving them home during an open house or private showing can be a major turn-off to buyers. Let’s talk about the five things you should do about your dog when you’re showing your home.

1. Deep Clean and Maintain

As a pet owner, you accept that having a dog means your home will never be perfectly clean. But when you’re selling, it helps to raise your standards. Use Real Simple’s cleaning checklist to complete a top-to-bottom house cleaning shortly before your first showing or open house. If you don’t have time to tackle the entire checklist, hire a cleaning service to do it for you.

Once everything is sparkling, you should maintain it until your home is sold. That means vacuuming daily, keeping dogs off the furniture, wiping dogs’ feet before they come inside, and cleaning up the backyard every time your dog goes to the bathroom.

2. Banish Pet Odors

Buyers shouldn’t be able to tell you own dogs from the moment they walk in the door. Ask a pet-free friend to come over for a “sniff test” before your first showing. If they notice lingering pet odors, your cleaning job isn’t done. Between fur, dander, and urine, unpleasant smells can settle into your house’s soft surfaces and ductwork. Get rid of pet odor by cleaning your carpet, upholstery, and linens, replacing your furnace air filter, and cleaning your air vents. If you can’t completely eliminate odor from a piece of furniture, get rid of it or put it in storage until you move.

Sometimes the source of the odor is your dog. Bathe your dog regularly to keep their natural scent from impacting the freshness of your home. If the smell remains even after bathing, it may be caused by a medical issue that needs veterinary attention.

3. Repair Pet Damage

After a few years, you don’t even notice the small scratches left in your floors from your dog’s nails. But your buyers will, so you need to fix them. In addition to scratched flooring, inspect your home for urine-stained carpeting or hardwood flooring, damaged screens, scratches on walls, doors, and trim, and holes and bare patches in the landscaping. Even if the damage seems minor, it’s worth your time to fix it. If you don’t and a buyer notices, they’ll be left wondering what other defects are hidden around the house.

4. Pack Up Your Pet’s Stuff

If buyers walk into your home to see a dog bed in the living room, it’ll ruin the illusion you’ve created of a pet-free home. While your home is listed, get in the habit of storing your dog’s things in a plastic bin when not in use. That way, you can easily toss their food dishes, toys, and treats in your car before prospective buyers arrive to view your home. In addition to dog beds, dishes, and other pet accessories, don’t forget to remove any photographs of your dog from around the house. According to MoneySense, pets can reduce the value of your home, so it’s best to remove all evidence your dog lives there.

5. Book Your Dog a Spa Day

While you could walk your dog around the block repeatedly until your showing or open house is over, it’s not exactly convenient. Instead, arrange for your dog to go to doggie daycare or a pet sitter’s home for the day. Your dog will get the exercise and stimulation they needs, and you won’t have to worry about leaving work in the middle of the day to collect your dog and their things.

Every seller has to clean and stage in order to get top dollar for their home. But for pet owners, that to-do list is a little bit longer. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get your home in show-ready condition before the first buyers visit.

Article provided by Medina at

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