Animals of the MLS

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Zion Realty

We've got two large, lurking beasts in this week's edition of Animals of the MLS. Curious as to the reason they've been relegated to the backyard, these best friends are peering through the glass trying to catch a glimpse of the stranger taking pictures who gets to enjoy being inside while they're stuck outside. The pleasant demeanor on their faces and neutral stances tell you that chances are slim that these boys would be a threat to anyone, however, their sheer size is enough to intimidate smaller children, older individuals, or even those who are bent towards having a fear of animals.  

This is a prime example of why it's so important that pets be kenneled or completely removed for home viewings. I'd venture to guess the homeowners would tell anyone that their beloved animals are friendly as can be, however, that doesn't mean they wouldn't be a distraction to home shoppers. Would you rather a prospective buyer be enthralled and engaged in the home that you're selling, or spend their time playing with and petting your dog without ever fully taking in all your home has to offer? Also, with two animals this size a homeowner needs to ensure all "leavings" and pet toys are picked up, thrown away, or put away. If a slight accumulation of pet droppings are found in the yard it will not only be an eyesore but also give off a foul stench giving a buyer a bad first impression. 

As for the picture itself, there are quite a few issues I would have corrected in this home before placing it on the market. The very first problem I have is how dark this room is even with the blinds open. The dark paint on the walls, the dark furniture, dark rug, and dark fixtures all lend to this room feeling dreary and dingy. Speaking of furniture, it's way too bulky for this space. The entertainment unit, and heavy wood table pieces would be better served in a cabin up in the mountains. It over powers this room and leaves a buyer wondering if there would be enough living area when in reality this is most likely a pretty standard size family room you would find in most homes. Lightening up the paint and storing a few of the furniture pieces would have opened up this room tremendously. Selling a home isn't necessarily a convenient task to undertake but if the goal is to sell, then preparing your home for the market isn't just about pricing it correctly. 

If you're selling your home in Gilbert, Arizona or the East Valley let the experts at Zion Realty help you. We take professional photos and put together a perfect marketing strategy to sell your property. Contact us at today!


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Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Nicole, I had one recently where the dog was lying on the sofa shivering. He made me a little nervous, but I did cover him up before I left. I think he was really just cold.

May 21, 2016 06:36 AM #11
Brittany Kinsland
MVP Realty - Naples, FL
In the top 10% of REALTORS® in Southwest Florida!

Great post! I agree - dogs should be kenneled out of the way. I am EASILY distracted by dogs no matter where I am. I'm a huge animal lover so I dont want a pet out to tempt me to pay attention to it! Ha! 


Also- completely agree with the assessment of this room. There is WAY TOO MUCH furniture, in addition to it being oversized. Eliminate both of those side/end tables and take out the love seat and the room has doubled in size! 


Any house with walls that dark are going to have to really speak to someone with that exact taste. Light and neutral is way easier to appeal to the masses. I'm recently addicted to greys..... 

May 21, 2016 07:19 AM #12
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Nicole - In this one, the animals just distract from what's going on with the room, which, as you point out, may be a good thing - that photo needs some processing.

May 21, 2016 07:59 AM #13
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Nicole at least the dogs are outside in this picture.  The is pretty bad especially the lighting.

May 21, 2016 08:15 AM #14
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Even just removing the dark rug in the center of the room would lighten it up.  And yeah..those are some intimidating animals.

May 21, 2016 10:15 AM #15
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


With the 2 dogs leering into the home . . . . I may just pass on looking at the home.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

May 21, 2016 12:33 PM #16
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Nicole, this agent did not do this seller justice, and is way too dark.   The pups should have been removed or kenneled.  

May 21, 2016 11:37 PM #17
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Ashburn, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Nicole, there is so much wrong in this photo I'm having a hard time seeing anything that's actually showcasing the home in it's best light. I agree with Joan Cox this agent didn't do the seller any justice.

May 22, 2016 11:10 PM #18
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Raymond - They are certainly not in the dark. Although at least they're underneath what appears to be a covered patio.

Patricia - I'm sure the homeowner would say they're gentle and loving but they are animals and any animal can be unpredictable. 

Debb - "50 shades of wrong"....I love it!

Jeff - I'm hoping the owner took them for a walk or removed them for showings but at the very least warn potential home buyers about their presence.

Alexandra - It's lifeless and depressing.

Kathy - That's why it's always best to have pets completely removed if possible so they won't be a distraction.

Noah - Some homeowners don't know the higher level of service they could actually be receiving unfortunately.

Michael - There's nothing about this photo that even makes me interested in looking at the home let alone a potential shopper. 

Grant - If you can't capture a picture without a pet in the room then chances are you can't do other things to help sell that home either. 



May 23, 2016 12:21 AM #19
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Kathleen - Very rarely does a home not show well in a photo but shine in person.

Mike - Was it cold in the home? That's an odd thing to come across.

Brittany - There's a lot this homeowner could have done better to prepare their home for market but the agent didn't help with sub-par photos either. 

Dick - The blinds are open and it's still dark. That dark paint needed to go. It's a real light killer.

George - A dark home usually does not inspire a buyer to get out the checkbook. 

Chris - I absolutely would have removed the rug. Any little bit of neutralizing would have helped. 

Lou - You and a lot of other people as well.

Joan - I agree. The level of service given to this seller was very poor. 

Amanda - The lack of light really does make it hard to see any selling features. 

May 23, 2016 12:27 AM #20
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Letting the pups in may have brightened up this photo!  I agree with your assessment, far too dark and dreary looking.  

May 23, 2016 04:12 AM #21
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint
Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

The big dogs always do intimidate, no matter their demeanor.  Mark

May 23, 2016 04:22 AM #22
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I wasn't sure if the lens was blurred or there were two. You cleared that one up. A little care and photoediting would have made them go away.

May 23, 2016 11:49 PM #23
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

John - It would have made the photo more interesting that's for sure.

Mark - The little ankle biters can be intimidating too if they're overly agressive.

Debbie - There are definitely two of them. Double Trouble. 

May 24, 2016 12:36 AM #24
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert ,

OMG..this is not an enticing photo!! Debbie Reynolds is right a little photo shopping could have eliminate this duo!!

May 24, 2016 12:23 PM #25
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Dorie - A little photoshopping also could have brightened the room but in person, the buyer would unfortunately still realize how dark it was. 

May 25, 2016 12:35 AM #26
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Wise words my dear, all of the way around. I would be miserable in this dark space. 

Do you ever have a hard time finding MLS photos with animals in them??

May 25, 2016 03:01 AM #27
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Those dogs look rigid and intimidating. I wouldn't trust just a piece of glass between them and me or my clients. You've provided a great warning for sellers to pay attention to! A home with dogs on the premises will likely stay on the market much longer than it should. 

May 25, 2016 09:26 AM #28
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I totally agree that the photo and room is way too dark.

And those dogs don't look threatening in the picture, but I bet they might be scary in person.

May 25, 2016 09:15 PM #29
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I agree on all accounts too.  Do you think Real Estate Agents are afraid to tell their Home Owners the truth?

May 26, 2016 08:06 AM #30
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