There was a time when the smell of newly baked bread or freshly brewed coffee was enough to pique a potential home buyer’s interest. But as the property market braces itself for another challenging year, sellers have enlisted a new market weapon: their pets.
It all started with Chompers the corgi, starring in a video to sell a San Francisco home in 2015. Then in Tiffany, a 5-year-old Shih Tzu mix whose owner, a real estate agent in Australia, started placing the pooch in listing photos, resulting in “nearly double” the page views and a slew of sales.
This latest addition in home-staging – the art of preparing your home for sale – is called pet placement. As with so many of these trends, the inclusion of beloved animals in estate agents’ brochures began across the pond. In the United States, a cat or dog draped across the furniture is becoming a must-have accessory.
Not too long ago, pets were considered a serious hindrance to home-selling process – cuddly companions that should be hidden at all costs. So what caused the change of heart? There’s an ever-growing number of animal lovers which may have turned the tide. And as you can see, these furry faces are just plain good advertising, touching on our emotions without getting too personal. “A pet can bring life to a property, and help to establish the feel of a home. It can also appeal to the lifestyle ideals of the likely buyer,” says a local estate agent Jonathan Cunlife. It solidifies the American dream: the kids, the dog, the whole package.
Here are some tips where you can showcase your pets in real estate:
As soon as they walk in the door to show off that essential accessory you grab every day when you take your dog for a walk: the leash. A pet-friendly space has an attractive leash hung nicely. But make sure that you don’t put some ratty old thing that’s been dragged through the mud on display. You can toss it in the washing machine to give it a new life – if it’s the cotton one. Or if you really want to impress, buy a new one that complements the décor of your home. You can fake it if you have to. There are lots of stylish ones out in the market right now.
Have a cute treats container to display on the counter or upgrade your pet’s standard water bowl into those sparkly new ones.
Like what’s been said before, showing off framed old family photos is considered a serious no-no, but it’s okay to leave framed dog and cat photos. According to Louise Whittet of White Space Staging, “More and more listings are doing this, as well as shelter magazines and websites. It isn’t as personal as a family photo, but it’s successful in implying a space for all types.”
“A faux sheepskin throw rug can be seen as a romantic element,” explains Kyra Frankel of White Space Staging, “or also a cozy spot for a pet to curl up.” Alternatively, place a new, or at least nice and clean, dog bed at the foot of yours. Have your pets’ beds cleaned up and put it in a sensible place to be, but don’t forget to stash up the chew toys first.
Repaint the doghouse with a fresh coat because it freshens up quickly. Stick to light colors as to not absorb the sun and heat. Also, it’s important to check the backyard for any poop before showing your property. You don’t want to destroy your chances to get the deal right?
No one likes dealing with animal waste; not even pet owners! This is even more unattractive to buyers. No buyer is going to want to spend much time in a property which has lingering smells of animal feces, and they don’t to see any reminders of animal waste. Be sure that your home is free from litter trays or droppings in the backyard. Conduct a quick sweep of all interior and exterior areas before any visitors arrive.
Source: telegraph.co.uk, realtor.com, localagentfinder.com.au, petsathome.ca, everydaydishes.com, bengeandeasly.com, pinterest.com, potterybarn.com, wagneraustralia.com.au
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