Pets the biggest turnoff for buyers during home inspections

Posted on 19/09/2008  

DOGS and pet smells have been voted the number one annoyance when it comes to inspecting property in a survey by buyers' agents.

The Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) conducted an online survey of its members to rate the items they found most annoying when searching for a new home on behalf of buyers.

The top five things buyers' agents find most annoying when previewing a house are:

1. Stench of pets (particularly dogs and cats) and their presence in the home
2. Tenants/owners remaining in residence, watching TV or lying in bed
3. Food and cigarette odours
4. Dirty toilet/bathroom areas
5. Overgrown gardens

Other reported annoyances include:

1. Locked doors on to decks and verandahs preventing access
2. Having to remove shoes at inspections
3. Poor quality renovations (including DIY painting or floor polishing)
4. Underwear lying around on bedroom/bathroom floors
5. Dirty dishes in kitchen
6. The appearance of the neighbouring property e.g. broken down car

REBAA president Scott McGeever recounted one of the more unusual sights he had encountered over the years going to home inspections.

"I once found a fish tank full of mice and several small guinea pigs to feed two 3m long pythons hidden in vain behind bed sheets under the house, you can imagine my surprise when I lifted the sheets," says McGeever.

He said many sellers did not understand the impact pets could make on a buyers' first impression of a property.

Dogs in particular had a very negative impact and often distracted buyers from properly evaluating a property's true potential.

The worst cases are where a dog has overtaken the backyard and completely destroyed the garden to the point where the grass has turned to dirt," says McGeever.

"If owners have their pets around during an inspection, often it will help our buyers negotiate a better price because of less competition.

"Similarly, landlords should also consider selling their property untenanted - as often tenants either don't care or are hoping the property won't sell as they are reluctant to be forced to move or have their rent increased by a new owner."


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