Man's best friend sends home hunters packing

Man's best friend sends home hunters packing

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

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.

"Given the huge amount of paperwork required by the National Credit Act and the large variation in lending criteria by banks in these tougher times, we strongly advise people to get a reputable bond originator like ooba on your side to steer you to the best homeloan rate," concluded Strydom.

Hello ooba news

ooba (formerly MortgageSA) welcomed the 0.5% interest rate cut announced yesterday by the South African Reserve Bank which will save South African home owners an estimated R259m in home loan repayments each month, but says more cuts are needed.

According to a new poll by South Africa's leading property listings website, nearly a third of home hunters decide that a property is right for them before they even enter the house - and a kitchen is overwhelmingly the most important room when it comes to the buying decision. has entered into a partnership with to provide access to the latest fractional ownership listings which will be available from the 12 December, 2008.

South Africans spent over R10 billion during the festive season last year. This year ooba suggests carefully planning your holiday season spending to avoid a financial hangover in January 2009. "Festive season debt can take months to pay off in the new year," says Jenny Rushin, Provincial Sales Manager for ooba (formerly MortgageSA).

Weak economic conditions, higher interest rates and the global credit crisis have forced banks to be far more picky about who they will lend money and less generous with their lending rates. But Mary Jane Lefevre, Regional Sales Manager of ooba, said that before you apply for a home loan, there are steps you can take to improve your credit status and encourage lenders to look more favourably on your application.