Home sellers “mark” their territory without even knowing it. I’ll explain how.


What does prepping your home for the market have to do with a dog marking its territory? I’ll get to that in a little bit, but first I want to touch on home improvements. The majority of people who don’t contact me early enough for a consultation make some poor assumptions on what they should be doing to get ready to sell. They work on the wrong things, which costs them months of time, all kinds of stress, thousands of dollars, and even a sale. The last thing most people need right now is extra stress and expenses.

I will often go over to a client’s property only to find out that they’ve already spent their time, energy, and money on the wrong things. Money that they won’t ever get back. In this current market, I don’t recommend spending a nickel unless you are going to get at least a dime back. Basement development, new windows, insulation upgrades, furnaces, furnace cleaning, and retaining walls are all examples of items that you don’t get a good return on.

The other thing that happens is sellers get stressed out, run out of energy and motivation from working on the wrong things, and fail to address the dog urine issue. Okay, what the heck am I talking about?

Most commonly, dogs mark their territory with a small amount of urine. They tend to lift their back leg and urinate on an object or area, thus claiming it as their own. This is called urine-marking. Just by smelling it, another dog can know the sex, maturity, and social status of the one who left the scent. It wants other dogs to know they are not welcome in this space.

People do an equivalent to marking their properties all the time. This is fine when you’re living in the home with no plans of selling; you want the space to be your own. However, when you are selling, you want the property to help buyers feel at home. If they don’t, they will feel uncomfortable, as if they are invading someone else’s space (much like a dog in foreign territory), and they’ll want to get out of there.

“Remove any evidence of pets from your home before showing it.”

Buying a home is a very emotional experience. We want buyers to feel at ease by allowing them to imagine the home as their own space from the start. Here are five tips to help do that:

1. Minimize any evidence of pets. As much as we may love our pets, many people don’t. They don’t like the smells, allergies, or fears associated with them. Make sure all the food and water dishes, beds, and poop are picked up for pictures and showings.

2. Take down any family pictures or paintings with a face. Again, this makes the space yours, not the buyers. We want them to feel comfortable with imagining their own family pictures on the walls. They can’t do that when they see your family staring at them.

3. Pack up any knickknacks or personal items that are smaller than a football.

4. Neutralize your feature walls or rooms that are crazy paint colours. You probably loved that bright blue or pink when you painted it, but it’s likely out of style now and the buyers will have a harder time imagining what to do with such odd-coloured spaces.

5. Take the day off and hire a professional cleaner to do a thorough job. By the time you have prepped the basics, you will probably be a little tired. We need to do an extremely thorough cleaning job to help reduce smells and show the buyers the property is well-maintained and move-in ready. Relax and let the pros do the work!

If you would like a free, in-depth home prep guide, let me know, and I can send that to you. I can also do a FaceTime or Zoom walk-through of your property to give you a few other custom tips or a full evaluation. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to hear from you.