Staging With "Fluffy" (Name Changed to Protect The Innocent)

As a cat owner, it's hard to imagine your cat being anything but adorable. When it comes to staging, however, they do pose challenges. Here are a few to consider:
  • Fur - hairballs, shedding, and buyers with allergies ... need I say more?
  • Claws - If you want to rent furniture or accessories to enhance your property, you will be liable for any damages such as scratch marks.
  • Litterbox - well, at least they USE a litterbox, but these can pose an unattractive problem due to smells, tracked litter, and - let's face it - litter boxes just aren't pretty.
Do consider these issues when staging. A house may be the most expensive personal item you ever sell, so it pays to get the maximum value by making it very attractive to buyers. Finding an alternate location for your cat(s) during open houses, and perhaps until you sell, might be a worthwhile investment.

Details, Details...

 Homes have areas more prone to dirty buildup around baseboards and vents, and the bathroom is one of these. Steam, hair, body oil, soap, hairspray, lotions, all these contribute to the gradual build up of grime. Also, brighter lighting and smaller quarters can make it more noticeable in a bathroom. Potential buyers only spend a few minutes looking through homes for sale, so target detailed cleaning to the areas it will have the most impact, such as the bathroom.
Before - hair on the floor, dirty buildup around the edge and inside the vent. These details may be overlooked in regular cleaning because they build up gradually.
After - buildup removed beneath edges and inside shines from a clean reflection. A small detail, but gives a better impression of 'clean' to a potential buyer.

"Out Damn'd Spot!, Out, I Say!"

Pet stain before
This famous quote makes me wonder if Lady MacBeth had dogs. They can certainly be a source of unwanted spots! Here are two clean and green products that are very effective at removing stains from carpets.

The first is club soda. Look for a brand that only contains carbonated water and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), because extra ingredients reduce its effectiveness for cleaning. Schweppes brand works well.  Just spray on, then absorb with a towel as the stain disappears, it's that easy.

After removal with club soda
However, some carpets do not enable club soda to work, because the weave holds in moisture and spreads the stain instead. For these, hydrogen peroxide 3% may work better. You can spray it on and leave it to dry, and it will begin to fade the stain immediately.  However the fading action may also change the colour of some carpets, so test first on an inconspicuous area. If only Lady MacBeth had known, it also works quite well on blood!

Pet stain on woven carpet - before.
Pet stain immediately after hydrogen peroxide 3% applied.


Adore A Door

Sometimes homes aren't built exactly how we'd like, but can be adapted to our needs. For example, a bedroom built near an outside entrance, but with a wall between, could be turned into an office by the addition of a door. You can still return this room to its original use as a bedroom, if the door allows for privacy. In addition, a room can be brightened by adding a door with glass in it to let more light stream through.  This is usually easier than adding another window, and allows more natural light in.
New door added.
After Paint.


Wake Up A Room With ... Coffee!

People use all 5 senses when they visit a home for sale, and a great looking place can still put off a buyer if it has an unpleasant odour.  Even if you eliminate major sources, you may be caught on short notice with a house that needs freshening due to paint or cooking smells. Opening windows may not be practical in bad weather, and traditional ideas like "baking cookies" require time. 

A quick fix is to make a pot of coffee, or allow some to simmer on the stove. Add a little cinnamon or vanilla if you wish. Coffee is an excellent deodorizer: it absorbs, masks or removes many offensive smells. Used or fresh grounds also work in an open container, as do whole coffee beans (especially flavoured ones). Whole coffee beans are also decorative if displayed in a clear container.