Showing a Home With Pets

Selling your Edmond or Greater Oklahoma City home can be stressful for you and your family.  You’re hoping to get your asking price, you’re hoping it only takes weeks and not months to see an offer.  There’s keeping the house clean and in tip top showing condition.  Then there are the actual showings

And don’t forget your pets.  Cats and dogs (and parakeets, and hamsters, and fish oh my!) can add to your stress when trying to present a home in the most positive light to all buyers.  Here are some great tips on successfully showing your home with pets, and reducing your stress and theirs.

  1. Make sure your Realtor includes a note in your MLS’s showing instructions letting visitors know there are pets in the home and any special instructions regarding keeping them safely inside the home and for keeping pet participation during the showing to an unobtrusive minimum.
  2. Daily clean cat boxes and the back yard or dog run for pet deposits.  When you receive word of a scheduled showing check again for any last minute clean up needs.
  3. Post friendly reminder signs on any doors behind which animals are being kept safely from getting underfoot.  Keep dogs outside in pens if at all possible.
  4. Remove or minimize any residual signs of pets in the home.  This means pick up and put away toys, bones, food and water dishes, AND vacuum frequently for animal hair.  Mitigate any persistent animal odors, and shampoo carpet stains.
  5. And the number one best suggestion for showing a home with pets is to take Fido for a walk, or Fifi for a drive while visitors are touring your home.  This may not always be a feasible solution, but if buyers don’t have to worry about pets getting loose, or how cute the new puppies or kittens are they will give more attention to the finer selling points of your home and less to details that may negatively affect a purchasing decision.

Red Flags for Buyers

MSN Money published an interesting article on red flags for buyers looking at purchasing an existing home.  The idea here was to highlight issues for the home seller, whether under their control or not, that have the potential to give buyers a reason to walk out of your Edmond or Greater Oklahoma City home before they even take a look.  Here are four red flags for buyers according to the article.

  1. Back yards, specifically non-family-friendly backyards.  Are you in a family oriented neighborhood occupied with lots of young couples with children?  If so, those are the types of families that are also likely to be looking to move into the neighborhood; they are your potential buyers.  If you’re lacking grass and space due to xeriscaping or a yard dominating pool it might be a turn off for families with children and pets who need room to play.
  2. Cracked foundations.  Even when a seller pays to repair foundation problems this can be a hard sell.  Foundation warranties aren’t always enough to put buyer concerns to rest.  In the back of their heads at some point the shoe will be on the other foot when they need to sell the home down the road.
  3. Personal belongings.  This one is completely under the seller’s control yet often overlooked.  Personal belongings can not only distract buyers from the finer selling points of the house, but they can get a buyer’s mind concocting stories about the character of the people who live there.  Help buyers focus on the home.  Start packing up photos, knick knacks and keepsakes, valuables, and hobby collections.
  4. Dirty homes.  Makes sense, huh?  If a buyer’s first impression upon stepping into your home is the overwhelming odor of cigarettes and pets, or if they can’t take that first step without stepping on fast food wrappers, laundry, or stacks of newspapers and mail, then you’re just listing your home, you’re not really selling.  But of course even a pig sty will sell if the price is right…

Outside-In Fall Showing Tips

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Children will be heading back to school soon, and shortly after that summer will wind down into fall.  Your Edmond, Oklahoma or Greater Oklahoma City home is already on the market, or soon will be, and you need to prepare for autumn showings.  Here are a handful of helpful tips to make sure your home is in tip top shape for home shoppers in the months of September through November.

1.      Curb appeal.  Keep leaves swept or raked up and walkways clear of natural debris.  Prune/trim hedges and trees.  Make sure your first impression is a good one.  Well maintained exteriors give buyers every reason to expect the same on the inside.  Poorly maintained exteriors may keep potential buyers from coming inside at all.

2.      Make sure gutters are clear of leaves and all downspouts are working properly, directing rainwater away from the foundation.

3.      Entryway.  Add a little splash of color at the front door like a holiday wreath, or fall pumpkins and gourds, making your entryway more inviting.  Clear away toys, bicycles, and that pile of ignored newspapers.

4.      Keep interior warm and comfortable.  If temperatures drop outside, make sure your home’s interior is warm and comfortable.  Comfortable homes invite buyers to take their time viewing your home and imagining themselves living in it.  The discomfort of a cold home can send buyers to grabbing their coats and moving on to the next house.

5.      Decorate your interior with emblems of the season like a Thanksgiving or autumn themed centerpiece on the dining room table or on the mantle.

6.      Keep backyards, patios and decks clear of fall leaves.  Show potential buyers a clean and safe backyard they can easily picture their own children playing in.

2 Quick Spring Staging Tips

Spring has sprung – at least on the calendar.  Staging your Edmond or Greater Oklahoma City area home for sale during the season of April showers and May flowers can be difficult if you’ve been considering a new paint job (inside or out), or many other do-it-yourself projects to help your home gain an edge on the “For sale” competition.  Since spring weather is so unpredictable here are a few low and no cost tips for staging your home whether you have spring fever or cabin fever.

  1. Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere.  That’s a line from one of the children’s songs parents have sung to their little ones for decades, and it holds true for home staging during any season.  Life happens – so does dirt, but today’s buyers may have a hard time looking past the grit and grime of everyday living and seeing the true features and benefits of your home.  Invest some time and elbow grease by detailing the kitchen and bathrooms, washing floors, vacuuming and shampooing carpets, and wiping away tiny fingerprints.  And remember, the best companion to a great (clean) looking home is a great (clean) smelling home.  That means clean cat boxes often, especially just prior to showings.
  2. De-clutter.  Think about it this way: pick up, pack away, donate, sell.  Make sure rooms are picked up and put away.  If you have space in the attic or even in the basement pack up a few extra boxes of the children’s toys or other belongings that you intend to keep but are simply adding to the claustrophobic feeling of your clutter.  And consider this: is it time to make a donation to Goodwill or another charity, or maybe even to have a garage sale to help relieve pressure in the home.  Clutter can kill a buyer’s interest the same way a dirty home can.  Pick up, pack away, donate, and sell!