Doggie and ciggy smells destroys interest in puff of smoke

Overpowering doggy smells are the biggest turn off for prospective buyers viewing a home according to an online poll by, one of South Africa’s largest property listings website that showcases over 155 000 properties.

Johan Strydom, general manager of, said that the poll showed that 31% of people said pungent pooch aroma was their biggest deterrent when home viewing, followed by 24% that noted tired bathrooms and kitchens made them hurry to the exit.

“We all love our dogs but it’s worth remembering that when they spend a lot of time inside they tend to smell the place up. When you live with it everyday you get used to odour le canine, but when it comes to selling your home, your dog might not be your best friend,” said Strydom.

The poll showed that the next biggest turn off was the lingering smell of cigarette smoke with 18% of people saying that was their biggest no-no, followed by unbearable décor (14%), ugly burglar proofing (9%) and foul fridges and stoves (4%).

When asked about how sellers showed their homes in the best light, 36% of respondents to the poll said that a thorough spring clean was their top tactic followed by 19% who said they gave the exterior a makeover by painting the outside and ensuring the garden is more Chelsea Flower Show than junkyard.

The next most popular strategy was adding flowers and coffee table books (14%), followed by a basic tidy (13%). And 9% of people said they would do nothing special when it came to selling their home while the same percentage said they would hire a professional home stager.

Said Strydom: “It really is important for sellers to make an effort in this buyers’ market. A good rule to remember is that what you are really selling is a lifestyle, not just bricks and mortar. People need to be able to picture themselves in your home so too much of your personality and taste on show will make it harder for them to do that.”

When it came to probing exactly how home buyers determined their budgets, a whopping 55% said they make a rough estimate from personal calculations while 23% took guidance from their banks.

Only 16% first went through a pre-approval finance process with a bond originator and a paltry 6% sought help from a financial advisor.
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