Before I begin, let me state off the bat: I’m not judging you if you have dogs, cats, parakeets, rabbits, or any other kind of pet.
What I’m about to say comes from my more than thirty years’ experience as a real estate agent helping buyers and sellers find their ultimate satisfaction in the Colorado real estate market.
If you have pets in your home and you’re thinking of selling your home, you have to understand that not every prospective buyer will be sympathetic to your animal friends. And they might be the ones who want to pay you the most for your house.
Put differently, I’ve never seen a Denver Colorado house sell for more money because the owners have pets.
It doesn’t matter how nice a property’s exterior is, where it’s located, or how hot the current real estate market is. If prospective buyers walk into your home and notice the floor coverings look tattered, or the molding looks cat-clawed, or there’s dander on the furniture, or the air is pervaded with pet-related odors . . . these factors will undercut your efforts to sell your home.
Fortunately, a lot can be done in even the worst cases where pets have reduced the value of a Denver Colorado home.
A fresh coat of paint can go a long way, as can new carpeting, a good cleaning service, and some simple, artful touches by an interior design professional.
If these efforts sound expensive, consider how expensive it would be to sell your home at a ten or twenty percent price reduction. Prospective buyers look for leverage when negotiating prices. The obvious need to cleanse a house of preexisting conditions caused by pets is a huge leg up in their favor.
Think of the process from the buyer’s perspective.
First, they see pictures of a house – this is a major step. Right away, they know whether or not they want to see it in person. Then they travel to the house and take a look at it from outside. This exterior view is their first actual contact with the property. It’s another important step toward piquing their interest. They outside view makes them want to enter the place and see if it’s the perfect fit they’ve been looking for.
If they decide to venture inside, they do so at your advantage – the seller’s advantage. You’ve already sold them at two important junctures: the photographic view and the exterior view. In fishing term, your line has been baited, the hook has been set. Now all you have to do is reel in the fish.
But suppose they walk in and the first thing they see is a cat-clawed newel post. Or the first things they smell are the unmistakable traces of urine in the air. Or the floor they’re standing on is littered with dust bunnies wrapped up with dog or cat hair.
To go back to my fishing analogy, your fish has just slipped the hook and got away. Yes, there’s a chance that this buyer will stay in the process and tender a bid for your home. But the odds are, they’ll do so at your disadvantage. You didn’t take the time to show off your home in its best light. So now you’ll be penalized for it.
The bottom line is this: if you’re showing your house, make sure to eliminate as much of the feeling and presence of dogs, cats, and other animals as much as possible.
Again, this is not me passing judgment on your lifestyle, your values, or your pets. Rather this is me trying to get you, my prospective client, the best possible offer for what is likely the most valuable asset in you or your family’s financial portfolio.