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The Pros and Cons of Keeping Your Man Cave or She-Shed When Selling Your House

When it comes to selling a house, the prevailing advice has always been to depersonalize your home and have neutral decor. That way your house will appeal to a broader range of buyers, and they can envision themselves living in the home, rather than you.

Some people take it to heart and you’d almost think the people who live there are straight out of a Crate and Barrel magazine, or wondering if anyone lives there at all, since there’s not a single picture anyone who lives there left on the walls or mantle! The reality is, most people don’t go to that extreme, but they’ll do their best to tone it down where they can, and make sure their house is as clean and presentable as possible.

But what should you do when you have a unique feature that really defines a space — and the people who live there — like a man cave or a she-shed? Are they a cool feature that’ll appeal to buyers, or will they scare potential buyers off?

If you have a dedicated space like this, you might think it’s something buyers will love, and probably even increases the value. Or, if someone doesn’t like it, they can just redo the room once they own it. All of those things may be true, but before you list your home, there are some pros and cons to marketing your home with such personalized retreats you should consider.

It might really appeal to some people: By keeping the dedicated space intact, you might appeal more strongly to a niche group of buyers who highly value such features.
It can make your marketing and stand out from the crowd: Since many homes on the market are depersonalized and have neutral decor, it can make your house stand out from the crowd even to people who that type of space doesn’t appeal to. Having a well-designed and appealing man cave or she-shed can act as a standout feature to highlight in your marketing that attracts buyers looking for a space with character and personality.
The right buyer can see themselves in the space: While making a home neutral allows most buyers to envision themselves in a home, if a unique space speaks to a buyer they most certainly will envision themselves enjoying it!
It might even be worth more to certain buyers: Some buyers could be willing to pay a premium for the specialized space that they might never have envisioned, or been able to create on their own. Even if they had the vision or ability to do it, they may appreciate not having to spend the time or money it’d take to do so.
It will most likely limit the number of potential buyers: One of the best ways to increase the odds of getting the most money possible for your house is to appeal to as many buyers as possible. The more people who like your house, the more likely you are to get multiple offers, which typically pushes the price as high as it will go in the market. If your house doesn’t appeal to the majority of buyers, you could lose out on the benefits of mass appeal.
It could offend some buyers: Some potential buyers may not appreciate gender-specific spaces in a modern home. For instance, a woman might not love the idea of a whole room set aside for a man in her home while she doesn’t get her own space, and vice versa for a man if there’s a dedicated space for her. And some people are gender-diverse, so defining a room by gender could upset them as well.
It could be a waste of space: While it might be a space one person gets a lot of enjoyment out of, it may not work for the greater good of the household. For instance, a man cave could take up space in a that might be more useful as a room for children to play, a guest room, or home office.
Even if it is worth more to a buyer, it could be an issue: If your buyer absolutely loves that your home has a man cave or she-shed, they may be willing to pay a higher price than other potential buyers. Unfortunately, if they need a mortgage, an appraisal will most likely need to be done, and the appraiser may have trouble justifying the added value that the buyer perceives.
Ask a Local Pro about the Pros and Cons
As you can see, there are potential upsides and downsides to having such a dedicated space in your home when selling. Before making a final decision, consult a local real estate agent familiar with your local market. They can provide valuable insights into how a man cave, a she-shed, or any other unique type of room will impact your home’s marketability and value in your specific market.

The Takeaway:

While a man cave or she-shed can be an exciting feature for certain buyers, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether to keep it when selling your house. Understand that it might not appeal to everyone and could limit the potential buyer pool. On the other hand, it can act as a unique selling point for the right audience. Make sure to speak with a local real estate agent before listing your home to get their insight and advice about whether such a unique feature is a good thing to have in your specific market and price range.


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