Some homeowners spend thousands of pounds improving their property before going to market, yet they can be oblivious to issues that prospective purchasers could regard as glaringly off-putting.
This is especially the case when it comes to pets. Just over half of British households own a pet. Six million of us have a cat, 5.1 million have a dog, 4.1 million have fish, 2.5 million have a rodent, 1.4 million keep birds and just under 1 million of us keep reptiles!
We know that most dogs want to say ‘hello’ when visitors arrive for the first time which is perfectly natural and will then ignore that person for the rest of the visit but we know from experience that a nervous viewer will probably be keeping a watch on your pet more that the property, which is what a seller must avoid at all costs to increase the chance of a sale.
It may be fear of a large or aggressive dog (66% of dogs are classed as medium to large), concerns about allergies or hair on clothing (there are 9.2 million cats in the UK) or the “stand on a chair” squeamishness about rats and mice. Don’t even mention snakes! Yakking, squawking or barking can also be an annoyance when a buyer is trying to concentrate on looking at the property – and hopefully like it.
Not all estate agents have the courage to talk plainly! But we say, if you are selling, please don’t ignore the effect your pet might potentially have on your sale. So take the dog for a walk when your agent brings buyers to view. Clean out the hamster cage twice a week and make sure there are no cat hairs on any chairs. Freshly cleaned carpets not only smell better but they look good as well.
Fido might have shredded your slippers – but don’t let him wreck your sale! As for us, we love dogs, and you’ll probably find a dog biscuit or two in our pocket when we assess a home for sale.