Home Staging and Selling for Pet Owners

We are animal lovers. We don't just love our dog, we really, really love him. We only stay at Kimpton Hotels so he can travel with us. We are more picky about his food that about ours. He is a factor is many of the decisions we make. I guess we take the responsibilities that come with pet ownership really seriously. So it might come as a surprise that we considered completely hiding all evidence of him when we put our condo on the market.

 I originally thought that any signs of a pet in our home would upset buyers. My plan was to put all of Baxter's things (toy basket, lead/collar collection, bowls, etc.) in my car for every showing. I even considered taking the bells he rings to go outside off the wall (they hang on a hook that has a paw print on it).

Have you ever seen these bells? I taught Baxter to use them when he was 15 weeks old and he's been ringing them ever since to go outside.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that we didn't need to hide the fact that we had a dog. We just needed to make sure our pet items didn't distract visitors or impede their ability to see our space.

Lucky, Baxter's bed is already in a corner because he likes to nap hidden behind a chair. His toy box is also in the same corner. We decided not to do anything special in the living room. That decision was validated when an agent told us she didn't notice the bed or toy box until someone else pointed them out.

In the bedroom, we have been tucking Baxter's stairs under the bed every morning. We usually only do this if we have company coming over.

I never mentioned buying these stairs before. There are plenty of pet stairs around, but I found these at a pet boutique a couple years ago and was impressed that they were made of wood and not too terrible looking. I've contemplated putting different carpet on the steps since the stuff on there is pink.

Anyway, the steps fold up nicely and slide right under the bed so the bedroom feels nice and roomy.

In the kitchen, we've been putting Baxter's food bowl inside the food bin every morning. The bin has always been tucked away in the laundry room. On days when showings have been prearranged, I take Baxter to the office. We'll leave his water bowl on top of the food bin in those cases. If an agent calls during the day and asks to bring a client by, one of us runs home to take Baxter out and put the water bowl in the laundry room.

We didn't take Baxter's bells away and we didn't hide his leash/collar rack in the front closet. We didn't see those as being major obstacles to seeing the place.


  1. As a non-pet person, the visual evidence of a pet in a residence wouldn't put me off, it's the olfactory that would. In fact, I have rejected homes in the past simply because my nose told me there were animals living in the house.

  2. Thankfully, we don't have an issue with that! :)

  3. I'd like to know more about Baxter's stairs if possible. My 12.5 year old golden just reached the point where she can't always jump up on the bed herself. I've actually begun looking for nice looking stairs to help her out.

  4. Raina @ If the Lamp Shade FitsAugust 5, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Oh my goodness, you have the cutest, best pup in the world!

    I struggled with this, too, as we have two cats. I think litter boxes are much more of an *ugh* for potential buyers. When we had our home on the market last year, I changed the the litter for fresh every day even though it's scoopable. The pan was in the laundry room which was about the best I do for placement. They both hide under our bed when anyone visits, so I'm wasn't concerned about them strolling around when buyers come through.


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