Here’s the scenario, the homeowner invests in home staging and their house looks immaculate. It’s totally ready for any buyer to immediately fall in love.
But, the resident cat or dog has other ideas.
Imagine going to see a home and every room has a major surprise in the middle of the floor just waiting for you to step into it.
Nobody cares what the rooms look like, buyers are too busy looking at the floor!
If your client has pets, no matter how well loved, you must recommend that they find ways to relocate the animal during showings while the house is on the real estate market.
Buyers may be afraid of the animal, allergic or just plain hate pets!
In the best case, they’ll be distracted by pet odors, noise and the fear of unwittingly letting the animal out of the house. In the worst case, they’ll be confronted by urine, feces and vomit, jumped on, barked at, or bitten.
Clearly, this does nothing to enhance the home’s perceived value or ensure that all your careful home staging will pay off.
My Cat Blew My Own Real Estate Deal
When I was trying to sell my home on Salt Spring Island, I staged it beautifully. I didn’t worry about my cat Gracey because she was outside exploring the forest on my acre of land.
When the real estate agent showed my home, she left the front door open. In came Gracey with a bird to play with.
When I came home after the showing, I found a trail of feathers leading from my front door to my 4-year-old’s bedroom. I was terrified of what I might find when I got there and even more terrified of the effect it would have on my kid! I got her busy in another room with a TV show and set off to clean up the mess.
Mysteriously the bird was nowhere to be found. There was no blood on the otherwise freshly shampooed and vacuumed carpet. The real estate agent called hours later to apologize for leaving the door open and to let me know that the bird was somewhere in the house. Apparently, Gracey had let it go before killing it.
I eventually found the terrified sparrow hiding in my home office. After some recovery, and prompting from me, it flew out of the house.
With all the excitement, the potential buyer never made an offer on my house, and the real estate agent never showed my property again!
Have you ever had pets sabotage a perfectly staged home? Please share your story in the comments below.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Home Staging and Voice of Possibility Group Inc.
Home Staging expert Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and has taught over 8000 students how to do the same. She is the author of several guides including the Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide: Home Staging Tips, Tricks and Floor Plans.
Cat Image Copyright Moyan Brenn