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Avoid pet problems to get full value

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Clean up and repair any damage from cats and dogs

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 could provide them with some, says Adrian Goslett, regional director and chief executive of Re/Max of Southern Africa.

“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.”

For sellers who own pets, he 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 trying 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: Research shows that a strong odour is one of the top five reasons why buyers will pass on a home, so be sure to eliminate any unpleasant smells and stains left behind by pets. A bad smell will create a negative perception of the home which the buyer will not forget, he says. 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 your pets will make it easier to keep the property clean and show it to potential buyers, but Goslett says there are several factors to consider.

“First, you will need to have a friend or family member with who 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.”

While the objective is to sell the home, pets have their own needs which must be considered and selling a home and moving to a new environment can be very stressful for animals.

“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 that well to any changes.”

As it is best for sellers to not be present during show days, he adds that pets should also stay elsewhere,” Goslett says.

“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 accidentally getting out the property during the process.

“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.”

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