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Could your dog seal a property deal?

June 24, 2024

If you have a passing interest in property, you will know that some people ‘stage’ their homes during the marketing phase in order to increase the appeal. Common tactics involve dressing sofas with stylish cushions, removing bulky items of furniture to create more space and using vases of flowers to add colour. There is, however, a more unique trend that’s found its way into the national press.  

Writing for The Times, journalist Melissa York explored the relationship between property and pooches. Noted was a build-to-rent development in London where not only were dogs welcomed in the apartments, there was a schedule of puppy yoga classes, and an in-house doggy spa where the pets could get a wash and blow dry.  

The article went on to debate the role of dogs in property marketing, suggesting that some sellers would find success using their pets as props. The thinking is that a perfectly-groomed dog, obediently posing in the property photographs, can sell a lifestyle as much as the interior design or the appliances on show.  

The rub is that not any old Fido will do. Those in countryside settings could amplify the appeal of their property if their labrador was lounging in front of an open fire or a cocker spaniel was curled up by an Aga. Families might encourage a cockapoo up onto the sofa for the living room photos, or train a border terrier to sit sweetly on the doorstep while the agent takes an exterior shot.  

Granted, dogs can add a sense of cuteness to property photographs but it’s worth remembering that not all potential buyers will be persuaded by pets. In fact, there may be some people who are completely deterred from viewing a property with a dog. A survey by furniture retailer ScS discovered that 40% of prospective buyers are put off by pets, bad smells and general mess.  

Granted, dogs are more of an issue when it comes to physical viewings than property photographs but it’s worth bearing in mind that people who genuinely have a fear of dogs may avoid booking appointments to see a property where the photographs show a pet.  

If you’re toying with the idea of asking for a dog to appear in your property photographs, please talk to us first. It may be that we take a set of photos with and without a pet in the shots, giving us a full set of images to appeal to the widest audience of buyers.  

We’ll also advise on how to prepare your property for photographs where a dog is present. Generally, it’s best to remove dog bowls, beds and toys from view as they can make spaces look cluttered.  

There is, however, a different set of advice when it comes to viewings. The consensus is the homeowner takes a dog out for a walk while potential purchasers are conducting a viewing. This avoids drawing attention away from the property and the dog getting under the feet of the visitors. Needless to say, crating or confining a dog to a certain area isn’t advisable if it will cause the dog to bark or show signs of distress.  

Attention should be paid to odours, bearing in mind owners are often blind to the scent of their own dog. Airing the property by opening windows and doors is wise, as is washing any pet bedding that is clinging on to wet dog smells. Use a reed diffuser or candle to scent the air, and spray upholstery with an animal-friendly fabric spray.  

Don’t forget to remove dog hair with a thorough vacuum and lint roller, and double check the garden – pick up any deposits and hose down areas using disinfectant if there is a strong smell of urine.  

Contact our sales team if you are thinking of selling a property you own. We’re ready with advice and the diary if you’d like to book a valuation.

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