Creating A Pet-Friendly Staging Plan for Selling Your Home With A Shih Tzu

Creating A Pet-Friendly Staging Plan for Selling Your Home With A Shih Tzu by Janice
Read Time:  5 minutes

Selling your home can be incredibly challenging when you have a pet like a Shih Tzu.

While these charming companions can add warmth to any setting, not all potential buyers will appreciate their presence.

A pet-friendly staging plan can help you navigate this issue by enhancing your home's appeal to both pet owners and those without pets.

Effective staging involves cleanliness, depersonalization, and subtle hints that a pet lives there, all aimed at showcasing the property's best features.

I've moved with pets (mostly Shih Tzu) 9 times in my adult years, all long distance moves (Nevada, Maryland, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Texas, and three times to Ohio) so trying to decide how to sell the home, packing, moving, and settling into a new home can all be challenging.  Here are a few things I've learned over the last 30 years.

Selling Your Home with a Shih Tzu:  Pet-Friendly Staging Plans

A Shih Tzu standing on a path

Creating a welcoming atmosphere for all potential buyers, regardless of their feelings about pets, is crucial.

The staging should highlight the positives of a pet-friendly environment without it being overtly evident.

This means implementing strategies that address common concerns such as pet odors, fur, and general cleanliness, while subtly suggesting that the home can be the perfect setting for a pet owner as well as those that don't have pets.

Implementing Cleaning And Deodorization Strategies

  • Effective cleaning and deodorization are key components of pet-friendly home staging.
  • Replacing HVAC filters and using HEPA air purifiers can significantly improve air quality, making the home more appealing by minimizing pet odors and allergens.
  • Using enzyme-based cleaners can help eliminate tougher stains and odors from carpets and upholstery, ensuring that the home smells fresh and clean during showings. You may need a professional to clean carpet.
  • If you can't remove stains or odors from carpet, consider replacing the carpet with a pet-friendly wood-look vinyl floor.
  • Wash windows or doors where little paw prints might be showing.
  • Leave your home for a period of time and then return.  You should not be able to notice any canine odors.
dog-breeder-clean.jpgWhen selling your home with a Shih Tzu, cleaning is very important

Make Minior Repairs

If you are the seller, the chances are good that there may be some minor repairs that should be made before putting your home on the market.

  • Check for any damage caused by a dog, chew marks on furniture and woodwork.  These should be repaire.
  • Repaint any areas where your dog may have scratced the walls or door.
  • If there are any severe scratch  marks on glass doors or windows, consider replacing them.

Spruce Up the Outdoor Area

A Shih Tzu puppy surrounded by white flowersSelling Your Home with a Shih Tzu: Add some flowers for great curb appeal

You've heard the term, "curb appeal," and it is especially importaing when selling your home with a Shih Tzu. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Make sure there are no bare or pee spots on your lawn.  Treat and reseed if necessary before putting your home on the market
  • Remove poop promptly.
  • Pick up dog toys and keep them in a container unless in use.
  • If your home needs some new follage, consider plants that are safe for dogs.
  • Inspect sidewalks and other walkways for muddy paw prints.  Clean if necessary.
  • Touch up any painted areas where there are signs of scratching or chewing.
  • A few lawn or deck furnishings indicating your love for dogs is OK, but don't overdo your canine enthusiasm.

Subtle Pet Staging Techniques

Rather than hiding all evidence of pets, strategic placement of pet-related items can be beneficial.

Showcasing an attractive pet bed or stylish leashes can suggest a pet-friendly lifestyle without overwhelming the space.

Unless you have attractive pet bowls or built ins, it's best to remove them as well.  A small collection of dog toys may be acceptable as long as it is part of the decor.  Too many signs of fur babies should be avoided, so that means removing excess pet related photos and other home décor depicting your love of your Shih Tzu.

These items should be clean and placed in a way that complements the home's decor.

This approach helps pet lovers envision living in the space while not deterring those who are indifferent to pets.

Managing Pet Presence During Showings

  • Remove all Pets For Showings: Ideally, pets should not be on the property during showings to avoid potential issues such as allergies or negative reactions from potential buyers.  Shih Tzu are natural watch dogs and will bark if strangers enter their domain.  Even a friendly barking dog to a non-dog lover can be threatening.

  • Contain Pets If Necessary: If it's not possible to remove the pet from the property, ensure they are contained in a discreet area of the home.  

  • Inform Potential Buyers: Notify potential buyers of the pet's presence to manage expectations and prevent surprises.

  • If you must remain in the home during showings, consider ways to keep your Shih Tzu close to you. If the climate is mild, you may decide to take your Shih Tzu for a neighborhood stroll while your home is being shown.  If this is not possible, relax outside with your Tzu on your lap.

Effective Strategies For Showcasing A Home With A Shih Tzu

Selling a home while showcasing a Shih Tzu requires a delicate balance between highlighting the pet-friendly aspects of the home and ensuring it appeals to potential buyers who have other types of pets or those that have none.   

Given the Shih Tzu's small size and generally quiet nature, they can actually be an asset in demonstrating the cozy and family-friendly aspect of a home if done properly.

Optimal Grooming For Showings

grooming a Shih TzuWhen selling your home with a Shih Tzu, ensure your fur baby is well groomed.

Preparation for home showings, when you have a Shih Tzu, should include thorough grooming of your pet. Ideally, schedule a professional groom just prior to showing your home.

Since Shih Tzus have long, luxurious coats, regular grooming is essential to avoid shedding and keep them looking their best. Since Shih Tzu shedding is minimal, this shouldn't be a problem.  Daily brushing and combing before showings cab ensure your pet looks adorable during visits.

A well-groomed Shih Tzu can enhance the appeal of your home by showing potential buyers that you maintain a clean and orderly environment.

Highlighting Pet-Friendly Features

When staging your home, emphasize features that appeal to pet owners while being subtle enough not to deter those without pets.

Demonstrate how your home accommodates pets without dominating the living space. This can include showing a designated pet area or built-in pet accommodations like a pet washing station if available.

Showcasing small, tasteful pet accessories can help potential buyers visualize living there with their own pets.

Buyer's Market vs. Seller's Market

If you are in the market to buy or sell, you know that there will always be an advantage depending on which side of the equation you find yourself.

In a buyer's market, the supply of properties or products exceeds demand, giving buyers an advantage as sellers often reduce prices or offer favorable terms to entice buyers.

In contrast, a seller's market occurs when demand surpasses supply, allowing sellers to raise prices and minimize concessions, as buyers compete against each other for limited availability.

The balance between supply and demand significantly influences pricing, negotiation leverage, and market dynamics in both scenarios. This influences what you do with your Shih Tzu if you are the seller.

Understanding The Buyer’s Market For Pet-Friendly Homes

In a buyer's market, where the supply of homes exceeds demand, potential buyers often find themselves in a favorable position.

This market condition allows for more negotiation room on price and terms, which can be particularly advantageous for buyers looking for pet-friendly properties while making it harder for sellers to negotiate a fair price. In contrast, buyers who do not have pets, sellers need to take additional steps to minimize the pressence of a pet.  In this case, if you are the seller, you will want to take a few extra steps to ensure the property appeals to both dog people as well as to those who don't want a pet.

Identifying Pet-Friendly Features That Appeal In A Buyer's Market

If you are a buyer in a buyer's market, you have the advantage.  When scouting for pet-friendly homes in a buyer's market, look for properties that offer specific features catering to the needs of pet owners, such as secure fences, outdoor spaces, and proximity to parks or veterinary services. Potential buyers may be looking for homes that include mud rooms or entrances big enough to accomodate muddy paws and space for leashes and other accessories for daily walks.

If you are the Seller, then you might highlight these features to attract pet owners, who can leverage the high inventory to find homes that specifically meet their pet's needs without compromising on other amenities or price points.

Negotiation Tips For Buyers In A Pet-Friendly Market

    If you are a buyer, here are a few tips you may want to use to get the best bang for your buck.

  • Leverage Buyer's Market: Utilize the advantage of a buyer's market to negotiate not only on the price but also for specific concessions that benefit pet ownership.
  • Request Safety Updates: Ask for updates such as improved fencing to enhance safety for pets.
  • Negotiate For Repairs: Request that the seller cover the costs for any necessary repairs to outdoor spaces to ensure they are safe and functional for pets.
  • Capitalize On Market Conditions: Use favorable market conditions to secure these concessions without significantly increasing the overall cost.

Selling Your Home in a Seller's Market

If you are the seller, you obviously have the advantage and may be able to relax a little.  It is still important when selling your home to maximize the assets your home has to offer while minimizing any deficits.  Even in a seller's market, your home should still be clean and in good repair.

A hand is holding keys in front of a doorPhoto by Maria Ziegler on Unsplash

Key Takeaway

Engaging in thoughtful preparation and strategic marketing is essential for successfully selling a pet-friendly home in any market condition.

Understanding the nuances of the buyer's market can significantly enhance the negotiating power of buyers, enabling them to secure homes that meet both their and their pets' needs, potentially at more favorable prices and terms.

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About Janice

Janice is the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu. Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, she served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu.

When not writing, reading, or researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, her husband, and her family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Small Dog Place and Smart-Knit-Crocheting.