PROPERTY NEWS - Owning a pet is great for one's emotional health - until it comes time to sell your property. Buyers are searching for reasons to lower their offer, and your pets provide them with a host of reasons to throw lowball offers your way.
"Especially within today's highly competitive property market, sellers will need to put their best foot forward by ensuring that their home is clean and in good repair if they want the best chance of selling for full value," advises Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
For sellers who own pets, RE/MAX of Southern Africa therefore recommends the following ways to get the best out of the sale:
Ensure damage is repaired
As lovable as pets can be, pet damage is never endearing when you want to sell your home. Often dogs and cats will damage or destroy elements in the home such as the carpeting, flooring, walls, doors, garden beds and fencing.
It is best to ensure that all pet damage is repaired before the home is listed on the market.
While this could mean some investment on your part, the money spent will be recouped in the value added to the property.
Get rid of odours and stains
According to research, a strong odour is one of the top five reasons why buyers will pass on a home, so be sure to get rid of any unpleasant smells and stains left behind by pets. A bad smell will create a negative perception of the home that the buyer will not forget.
Having the carpets and flooring cleaned by a professional will remove stains and have the home smelling great.
Keep your pet off the property
Temporarily relocating the pets will make it easier to keep the property clean and show it to potential buyers, but there are several factors to consider. Firstly, you will need to have a friend or family member with whom you are comfortable to leave your pets while the property is on the market.
Then there is also the matter of the pet needing to adjust to living with someone temporarily and then adjust again to the new home - this could add unnecessary stress for the animal.
While the objective is to sell the home, the animal has its own needs that should be considered. Selling a home and moving to a new environment can be very stressful for pets. The best thing to do is to consult with the pet's vet regarding the plan you have in mind and how it could work with your specific animal.
This is particularly important if the pet is older and may not adjust to changes that well.
Take your pets out for showings
"It is best for the seller not to be home during show days, which means that you should also have your pets stay somewhere else during showings. If there are pets in the house or garden and the seller is not home, this could cause complications for the agent and could put the pets at risk of getting outside the property. Even if the pet is friendly towards strangers, there is the chance that with a lot of people in and out of their territory the dog or cat could react badly to someone and bite or attack them.
"Leaving a pet in that situation is asking for trouble - even if they are not normally aggressive, it is not worth taking the chance," Goslett advises.
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