By:David Batagower, REALTOR ®Compass – Bayou City Property Group

The decision’s been made – it’s time to sell your home.  If your household includes Fido, Fluffy, Rover or Riley, here’s10 tips to prep and show your home in its best possible condition!
-Eliminate smells and stains. Lets face it, a house that smells like anything but fresh or has stained/worn carpet can be an instant turnoff to many buyers.  Ensuring these items are taken care of before going on market can go a long way to create a positive first impression.  
-Spruce up the yard and garden beds.  Although this is not pet specific, some of our furry friends are notorious for digging in the yard or laying in the flower beds.  A yard that is manicured and garden beds with fresh, living plants and a layer of new mulch can be one of the lowest dollar/highest ROI updates many homes can benefit from.  
-Remove pet supplies from obvious areas: Your goal when listing is appealing to the largest number of buyers.  We find that often times not having items likes pet bowls, leashes, beds in obvious sight means 1 less distraction for potential buyers as they walk through the home.  
-Repair pet damage to the home.  Examples include scratched doors/door jambs, siding on the exterior.  
-Remove pets during showings.  Barking dogs in kennels can be extremely distracting. Cute dogs in kennels can also be distracting, and divert attention away from the focus – seeing the features of your home. 
-Pickup the poop.  Land mines on the way to the front door, or as a potential buyer is viewing the backyard are never a fun surprise.  Waste removal services is a good investment if you are strapped for time.
-Tidy up before showings.  The aged old saying “you only have 1 chance to make a good first impression” definitely holds true when perspective homebuyers are walking through your home.  Homes that show the best are tidy, clean and smell fresh..from the moment someone walks in.  
-Pet free home 1st few days on market.  A strategy that might make things easier for everyone is treating Fido (and you!) to a weekend at the spa the first couple of days your home is on the market.  We often see that when a home is priced right, the largest number of showings from serious buyers happens in the first few days on market. Many times this can be coordinated over a weekend.  This ensures your home stays “show ready” without having to tidy up between showings, and the inconvenience of leaving and coming multiple times.
-Consult with your veterinarian.  Pets often feed off of our emotions. If you have a pet with high anxiety or special needs, consulting with your veterinarian to explore strategies to manage special circumstances to minimize stress as much as possible can be helpful.  
-De-personalizing your home.  One of the goals during potential buyer showings is for them to envision living in the well as not getting distracted by personal items such as cute family portraits or pet memorabilia.  To help with this, we often recommend removing these items.

 Selling a home successfully and for top dollar involves a few key ingredients: strategically pricing based on current market conditions, a customized marketing strategy specific to the property, and coming to the beauty content (i.e. market) clean, tidy, shiny and ready to WOW the judges (buyers!).  Working with an experienced Realtor can reduce a lot of the stress related to home prep, and professionally guide you through the process to make sure you shine and sell for top dollar.
For a link to this and other home selling tips, or specific questions about selling a home in the Houston market find us on Instagram at