Once upon a time, people who were selling their homes were told to hide all traces of their pets. The idea was that dogs and cats create a lot of extra dirt, allergens, and unwelcome smells. Pretending those pets didn't exist was a better strategy.

These days, times have changed. Now, pets are seen and celebrated for what they are - beloved members of our family. Often, a house doesn't feel like a home until it has a dog lying by the front door or a cat napping on the couch. As sellers focus on "staging" their homes - that is, making them look comfortable, welcoming, and livable - your pet might be a great accessory. And really, isn't it time Fido earned his keep? We thought so!

So how do you use your pet to your home's advantage without scaring off pet-adverse buyers? These simple tips can help:

Include your pets in photographs.

Most people start their search online, by clicking through countless photos of homes. Make your images stand out with the addition of a well placed pooch. Then, when you're showing the home, whisk your pup to the park or a friend's house, especially if they're wary around strangers.

Invest in high-quality pet accessories.

A beautiful, plush dog bed, or ceramic food and water bowls that match your kitchen, can look like well-placed accessories, rather than chewed up eye-sores. If you can't or don't want to erase your pet from your home, make sure the signs of their existence are tasteful, beautiful, and fit your home's aesthetic.

Repair or clean all pet-related damage.

It should go without saying that you should make sure all the signs of your pet are good ones. Clean the carpet, seed the lawn, and replace anything that may have been gnawed on in the puppy years. Even if something wasn't damaged by your pet, homeowners may assume that they're the culprit, and then wonder what other issues are lurking in your home.

While a pet can help make your home seem more, well, homey, this trick only works if your home is clean, your belongings are in good shape, and your pet is well behaved. If you can't ensure that all these boxes are ticked, it's best to sell your home the old-fashioned way and keep your pets behind closed doors.

For more ideas, tips, and tricks to help you sell your home, contact Network Real Estate today!