Help! I'm Selling My First Home and I Can't Control Fido's Mess!

When the time comes to sell your first home, emotions and task lists are almost certainly in overdrive. From the paperwork and financial logistics, to actually preparing your home, staging, cleaning and organizing for the selling process – there is no shortage of tasks! 

Having pets in the mix can further complicate the process.  Our beloved furry creatures are part of the family, and planning for them during the moving process is essential! 

Moving your pets safely is one thing, but what about preparing your home for selling and accommodating your pets throughout the process?  Our top tips for keeping your home clean, preparing to sell and still accommodating Fido or Fifi are a great place to start!

Make your first home “pet free”

Aside from seeing your companion, there should be no signs that the little prince or princess resides in your casa.

  • This means vacuuming, dusting and scrubbing like crazy– in every crack and crevice. Pet hair can build up in our everyday lives, and it can be easy to miss, but don't turn a blind eye.
  • Take apart all furniture and properly clean, or hire a company to do so. This will reduce pet hair and dander and also help to get rid of any unwanted scents.
  • Clean all rugs, and wash and clean all floors. If necessary, schedule carpet cleaners to do the trick! This can be a huge selling point, as cleanliness is often a great practice for any home sale.
  • Dust all walls, baseboards, heat registers and any areas that collect pet hair.
  • Enlist outside help from a neighbor, friend or family member for the scent test. Sometimes we pet owners can become immune to it!  Ask an outsider to walk in your home, and see what they notice. Honesty is the best policy!

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  • Cleaning your pets and their digs is essential. Whether you have a professional groomer or DIY, give your furry friend a great bath and brushing, taking care to de-shed as much as possible!
  • Wash all pet bedding and clean cages and toys.
  • Clean up yard waste! Prevent messes and tracking into the home, or just simply clean up unsightly ‘landmines’.
  • Keep your home spotless by cleaning pet feet at the door! Preventing messes from making their way into your home is a great strategy.

Try to keep pets out of as many areas as possible 

  • Shut bedroom doors, or otherwise exile Kitty or Fido from certain areas of your home.
  • Use baby gates or barricades to keep pets out of front rooms, offices, kitchens, etc. 
  • The more areas of your home that are pet free, the easier the cleaning and maintenance cleanings will be!
  • Quarantine kitty in a specific room, and eliminate any extra litter trays or cat furniture! Moving dog cages and toys to a specific temporary doggy room is a great idea as well.

Try to arrange for help during showings (and during the moving process) 

  • Send your pup to a family member, friend or doggy day care if necessary – It will be a lifesaver! Having people in and out of your home is high stress for your pets, and can be a turn-off for potential buyers. Remember, you are trying to get your home SOLD!
  • Try to consolidate showings, if necessary use your garage, vehicle or yard to house your pets – Just take extra precaution to do so safely. 

Maintenance is the key

  • Instead of spending hours cleaning before a showing, set aside time daily or every other day to keep up on your cleaning chores, during the selling process. 
  • Spend an hour or two a night cleaning, vacuuming and just generally keeping everything in order!

Having pets in our home may add an extra element to the moving and planning processes, but we can all agree it’s absolutely worth it! Planning ahead and following these great tips will help to make the cleaning and selling process easier.

This article was written by Heather Argenti of Moving Ahead Services, an Ohio-based relocation company. Moving Ahead Services specializes in providing a holistic relocation solution, from real estate to moving, storage and beyond.