If you’re contemplating putting your home on the market, or if you are a Realtor working with a client preparing a residence for sale, you likely have been considering what needs to be done to properly stage the property. Home staging is summarized as a process designed to highlight the positive attributes of your home and downplay those that are less favorable. The primary objective of staging is to make your home appealing to the largest swath of prospective homebuyers on the market today.
A great part of home staging is considering how furnishings and objects will be placed and presented in a home. In reality, truly comprehensive home staging needs to go beyond these surface considerations. Yes, furnishings need to be properly positioned and clutter needs to be eliminated. However, more needs to be done. This includes taking full advantage of natural and artificial lighting, repairing worn or damaged elements of a property, and eliminating not necessarily immediately evident issues like rodent droppings in out of the way places in a home.
Why Worry About Rodent Droppings in out of the Way Places?
Mice and rats have a tendency to nest in out of the way places in residential property. In Southern California, these spaces include:
- Crawl spaces
- California basements
- Storage and utility closets
If you stumble upon old, dry rat droppings in a more out of the way area in your home, you may shrug off the situation. You may conclude that because the droppings are old, you may not have any existing issue with a rodent infestation. Indeed, perhaps you have a rodent issue sometime in the past and are confident that it was effectively resolved.
The reality is that if you do have rodent droppings littering some isolated place in your home, like the attic or a crawl space, you really do need to worry about the situation as part of your overall efforts to prepare or stage your home for the marketplace. And as will be discussed is some detail in a moment, you simply cannot safely take a broom or vacuum to rodent droppings. We explain why you need to address rodent droppings in a systemic, safe manner.
Rodent Eradication Is One Thing … Rodent Droppings Elimination Another
If you had an issue with rodent infestation before you put your home on the market for sale, you may not have an explicit legal obligation to disclose it to a buyer. However, there is a disclosure catch-all (of sorts) in California law that requires you to advise a potential buyer of a situation at a residence that you reasonably believe would make a material difference on a person’s desire to purchase a residence. Arguably, a fairly recent rodent infestation may be something that a prospective buyer would want to know about because that type of issue might play into a purchaser’s decision-making process.
If you advise a prospective buyer of a prior rodent issue and yet fail to appropriate cleanup droppings when you work to stage the property, you create a situation in which problems can arise. On the one hand, if rodent droppings become evident when a prospective buyer tours a home (or has it inspected), the purchaser may conclude that you provided false information about remedying a rodent infestation. In the alternative, a prospective buyer may believe that you eradicated a rodent issue but conclude you don’t properly tend to caring for your home if that individual sees or learns of rodent droppings on the premises.
Importance of Professional Rodent Cleanup Assistance
As mentioned at the start of this presentation, rodents and their droppings can end up in places in your residences “off the beaten path.” In addition to the spaces previously mentioned, bear in mind that rodent feces can end up in the HVAC system, including in ductwork throughout your residence. Rodent droppings in these areas will no be visible during a home tour. They will be detected during a buyer’s home inspection, however.
Rodent dropping cleanup from inside an HVAC system or within ductwork is no something a typical homeowner can do with ease … or at all. This element of the cleaning process underscores the value of retaining the services of a skilled, experiences, tenacious rodent cleanup company.
Rodent droppings also present a health and safety issue as well. By failing to eliminate rodent droppings from your home as part of a global, comprehensive cleaning effort, you may expose your family and even prospective buyers to exposure to germs contained in rodent droppings. You need to bear in mind that dry rodent droppings may contain hazardous germs and do crumble easily. Thus, these germs can become airborne, threatening the health of people who might be present in your home.