Staging for Pet Owning Sellers: CATS

Staging for Pet Owning Sellers
Part 1 - Cats
When you list your house, you hope it will sell quickly, being a pet owner can make the selling process a little more difficult and time consuming.  Here are some suggestions that may help the sellers, the agents and any potential buyers feel more comfortable working with a house that has pets.
Vacuum every day! If you have more than one cat, your cat sheds a lot or has a fur color that will stand out vacuum twice a day or as often as is needed.  A house full of cat hair can be a huge turn off to buyers, even to buyers that are cat owners themselves.  Be meticulous in your vacuuming, make sure you don’t have pet hair that is visible under/on furniture, fixtures or appliances.  Use lint rollers for cloth furniture and other areas that are difficult to vacuum.  Buyers or their children that have asthma or allergies will be less inclined to even finish looking at the house if the cat hair is a visible problem.
There are two smells that can be particularly offensive to a prospective buyer when they are viewing your home: must and mildew smells, which can signal a leak or flooding problem, and that stinky litter box. Few things are worse than a dirty litter box; it can derail a potential buyer from purchasing your home with just one whiff. Clean the litter box daily! Keep that litter box fresh by getting the waste out of it as quickly as possible. Use a cat litter with air fresheners to control odor, buying a high quality litter will be worth the expense in the long run. Be sure to “touch up” the
litter box before each showing. Replace the litter frequently.  You might even consider washing the litter box every time you change the litter. Use soapy water and a small amount of bleach, this will cut down on bacteria and help keep smells to a minimum.  Last you may want to consider keeping the litter box in a well ventilated area like a garage or in a bathroom with an exhaust fan.  Try to put it in a location that the floor around it can be mopped with a disinfectant, this will keep the room its-self from adding to the odor.

Cat owners typically keep their cats shut in a specific room, if at all.  This should be used as a lastresort.  It can be annoying to a prospective buyer; keeping track of a sellers cat while trying to see a house can be distracting as well as annoying. If it is possible, take your cat with you when you leave for a showing, see if a friend or family member would be willing to care for it during the showing.  There are pet day cares or maybe your vet’s office will kennel your cat during the day, however this can get expensive.  If you don’t want to spend a fortune on animal boarding and you don’t like the idea of your pets being locked up indefinitely, you have other options. They just might require work and forethought.  Keeping your cat in a kennel at home can be challenging, but may be feasible for some.  Most importantly, you have to keep your house clean. 
Be sure to note with your agent anytime you have an animal in the house and any special instructions, this will help eliminate confusion and worry for everyone involved.

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