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Pet owners can set the stage for a clean house for potential buyers

         By Medina James

Putting your house on the market comes with its fair share of responsibilities. During this home-selling process, you will have to stage your rooms for potential buyers. As a dog owner this presents some complications, but with a few tips, you can manage a smooth staging and a successful sale.

Don’t take it personally

As a seller, you must detach emotionally from the house and see it as a product, not as your home. While you love Fido, and he’s the friendliest cuddliest thing in the world, it’s important to note that not everyone feels this way. The Los Angeles Times urges sellers to understand that pets in the house can be a total deal-breaker for many buyers. The first piece of advice for sellers is to remove the pets completely at viewings. This may require relocating your dog for a short amount of time. Consider finding a friend or neighbor willing to watch your dog.

According to The Balance, the reasons why buyers do not like pets include fear, inexperience with pets, nervousness and the fact that they don’t know your pet. Successfully staging a house where pets lived requires some special attention to detail and removing all traces of evidence.


According to U.S News cleaning is of utmost importance when staging a home, especially when pets are involved. If the house feels and smells dirty, it’s likely to turn away potential buyers immediately. Remove all traces of dog damage from counters, carpets and furniture.

Consider deep cleaning of all your carpets. If you have stains, do what’s necessary to get rid of them. Paying for a professional deep cleaning service will really get beneath the surface and ensure there are no lingering odors, stains or buildup. The Canine Journal advises that if urine has soaked into the padding, you may have to replace that area of the carpet.  If you have floors, ensure there is no visible blotches or discoloration and that the floors look well-kept. If necessary, replace flooring or refinish floors to breathe new life to the entire room.

House Preparation

After you have thoroughly cleaned the home, you want to check for other kinds of pet evidence. Remove dead giveaways or signs of a pet:

  • Scratched doors or damaged walls
  • Torn up shutters
  • Pictures of your pet inside the house
  • Litter boxes, toys, or dog beds
  • Water and food bowls

While you might have to disclose that a pet lived in the house, it’s best not to openly advertise it and create a new and welcoming atmosphere for any potential buyer.

Outside Your Home

Curb appeal is a big aspect of staging a home. Ensuring that the outside is clean and organized will go a long way. Make sure to inspect the front and back yards to remove any visible trace of your dog. Check for doggy messes or holes your dog might have dug up. Clear away toys or dog houses.

The Staging

Finally, presenting your home to potential buyers is the best way to showcase the unique aspects of your home. This is no time for emotional attachments.

Remove clutter. Completely remove anything that might have belonged to your dog or any extra clutter that creates a sense of disorganization in the house.

Rearrange furniture. When staging your house, remember that you want to highlight the space and architecture of your home. Use symmetrical arrangements and get rid of furniture that is old or doesn’t match. If your furniture has traces of your pet, it’s best to get it out of the picture. Avoid any traces of fur, hair, or stains on sofas or couches.

Remember that not all people are dog people and openly advertising that a pet lived in the home will make your house harder to sell. Part of the purpose behind staging is to allow buyers to envision themselves and their family in your home. If you don’t properly clean or take care of the optics at your home, potential buyers may move on to another house.

Article provided by Medina at DogEtiquette.info.

Photo Credit: Unsplash