Presented by Glenn Tinturin


Open House Etiquette for Sellers with Dogs

Our four-legged friends bring a lot of joy to our lives, but they also make selling a home more difficult. Not only is there more to clean and keep clean to get your house ready to sell, but you also have to keep pets out of the way during showings. This guide explains how you can get a dog-friendly home ready for the open house and practice good dog etiquette during the event itself.

Before the Open House

It’s a simple truth: Clean and organized homes sell better. If you want the fastest sale and highest price possible for your home, keeping it clean is imperative. For example, homes in the Rancho Santa Margarita, California, market have sold on an average price of $643,000 over the last month.


While an immaculate home is harder to achieve with pets, it’s hardly impossible. Start by deep cleaning your home one to two weeks before the open house. Adeep clean should include cleaning the carpets and upholstery, as soft surfaces trap pet hair, dander, dirt and other odor-causing particles. The simplest option is to hire professionals to deep clean. If you opt to do it yourself, check theupholstery cleaning codes to avoid accidentally damaging your furniture. You’ll also want to locate and repair any pet damage in the home.


Once your home is clean, you need a strategy for maintaining it. Close doors and use baby gates to keep pets off of clean carpets. Another option is laying downarea rugs that you can remove before the open house. If training dogs to stay off the furniture isn’t an option, use slipcovers to protect the upholstery and remove them before showings. Be sure towipe paws before letting dogs indoors and brush dogs regularly to minimize indoor shedding.


Homeowners should also keep dogs’ toys, bowls and other accessories contained to one area of the home. Before showings, pack up pet items and store them in a closet or cupboard. If you’re short on storage space, try one of The Everyday Dog Mom’ssolutions. Tucking away your dog’s items before the open house creates a tidy appearance and helps your home appeal to everyone.

During the Open House

On the day of the open house, plan for your pets to stay off site. Dogs distract buyers from the reason they’re really there, which is to view your home. It’s also a safety hazard if your dog jumps on a visitor or a visitor trips over your dog.


It’s not enough to shut dogs in a quiet room or in the backyard. Visitors at an open house need to be able to view every room in the home including outdoor spaces. Even if a dog is contained in a crate, some buyers might not feel comfortable entering a room where pets are being kept.


To ensure your open house is a success, the safest option is to arrangedog boarding on the day of the open house. If your dog doesn’t board well, hire a dog walker to take your pet on a long outing during the open house. Be sure to account for extra time before the open house so you can tidy up without pets in the way. At minimum, you’ll want time to clear and wipe down surfaces, sweep and vacuum floors, and pick up waste from the yard before prospective buyers arrive. The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Blog lists additionallast-minute cleaning tasks to complete before the open house begins.


As you prepare your home for the open house, remember that booking cleaning services and dog boarders isn’t just for your prospective buyers’ benefit. Taking these steps also protects you and your pets. If your dog escapes during a busy open house or accidentally harms someone, the outcome could be heartbreaking. By preparing appropriately, you eliminate risk and increase the odds that your open house leads to a sale. 


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Article provided by Tamara Gilmore at

Market Snapshot

What Your Neighbors Don't Know: The inventory is peaking right now and the market will remain balanced for the remainder of the year.


Preparing to Sell?

Here's How to Get Your Home Ready


With home prices on the rise, it's important to get the highest possible price when selling your home. If you don't, you may not be able to afford a new home in your desired market. Rather than undertaking major renovations before putting your house up for sale, the best way to maximize your home's sale price is through maintenance and inexpensive improvements.

The first step in preparing a home to sell is ensuring there are no glaring issues that buyers would consider a dealbreaker. Ideally, you've maintained your home over the years by regularly inspecting the roof, windows, siding, foundation, and other critical components for problems and repairing and replacing as needed. If not, this is the time to make the necessary fixes. Repair leaky faucets, gouged molding, crumbling grout, and other distracting problems around the home.

If you're handy, you can complete many minor repairs yourself with basic tools. If DIY home improvement isn't your strong suit or you don't have the time, hire a handyman or contractor who can tackle a variety of household tasks for you. Know that in California, a licensed contractor must be hired for jobs valued over $500. The Orange County Register provides additional details regarding handyman laws.

Before investing in major repairs like replacing the roof, HVAC system, and windows, talk to a real estate agent experienced in your local market. Knowledgeable REALTORS® like Glenn and Elvira Tinturin can advise you if major repairs are likely to offer a sizable return on investment, or if it's more cost effective to leave the home as is and price it accordingly.

Once repairs are out of the way, turn your attention to cosmetic improvements. Indoors, clean scuffed walls, patch holes, and repaint unusual wall colors to a neutral shade that appeals to a broad range of buyers. Refinish hardwood floors to renew their luster, and schedule a carpet cleaning to eliminate stains and odors.

Don't overlook the exterior. Curb appeal is one of the most important factors when selling your home; if your home doesn't look good from the outside, buyers won't bother coming in. Tinturin suggests that you ensure your lawn is green and manicured, garden beds edged and mulched, and landscape plants pruned and shaped. Repainting the front door is an easy way to make your home look on-trend; according to Rugh Design, cool blues, grays, and blacks are popular shades for 2018. Whatever you choose, make sure it complements the overall color scheme of your home.

If your front porch looks bare, Tinturin recommends adding some greenery in the form of potted plants. Whether you opt for symmetrical, oversized planters flanking the front door or a series of smaller planters staggered up the front steps, container plantings are a great way to draw visitors' attention toward the entrance. Pair it with a new welcome mat and a modern light fixture for a simple but stylish front porch.

If you're not sure what else to improve, research other homes for sale in the Lake Arrowhead area. The average listing price in Lake Arrowhead is $353,000, but if you intend to list above that price, you should compare your home to others in your target price range. Pay attention to how homes look and how long they've been on the market; the homes that are selling the fastest and at the highest price are the ones you want to emulate.

Selling a home can be a long, arduous process, or it can be fast, easy, and profitable. The difference is in how sellers prepare before putting their home on the market. By making your home look its best and eliminating problems that could turn buyers away, you help your home sell faster and for more — and that's what every seller wants.

Article provided by Natalie Jones from

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