Whether you’re selling an historic house, or one that’s simply “older”, a key part of your marketing strategy is to create buyer confidence that the house is in sound condition and reduce concern about surprises. Have a seller’s home inspection and implement the recommendations. Prepare a marketing binder that includes the inspection report and copies of any repair bills. Provide a survey and research the deed to be certain it’s free of encumberances. Describe updates you’ve made and details of energy-efficient features. Include utility bills for the past year. Furnish a list of tradespeople who’ve worked on the house. Provide a home warranty for the buyer’s peace of mind. Your house will compete more effectively against newer ones and encourage buyers to consider preserving our architectural heritage.
If you’re selling a truly historic house, there’s a special story to tell. Prepare a separate binder with pictures and stories, if available. Provide the name of the architect and describe the style of the house, including any unique elements, so visitors will appreciate their significance. Describe features that have made the house enjoyable for your family. Effective pictures are crucial to on-line marketing. Edit your belongings and carefully compose each picture to highlight the best features of the house, including close-ups of significant details. Before you take pictures, replace any items that won’t convey, like a chandelier, with something attractive, properly scaled and suitable to the house.
Pricing an older house, especially an historic one, presents special challenges because of the lack of truly comparable properties, either recent sales or current listings, whether priced realistically, or not. Pricing older or historic homes is a blend of art and science, but a current appraisal is an essential starting point. To establish a range of recommended listing prices, your REALTOR® will look at a number of factors, including the appraisal, the current tax value, the location of your house, sales of similar houses in your neighborhood and in a wider radius during the past year (if any), the condition and cosmetic appeal of your house and the competition. The knowledge and experience of your REALTOR® in evaluating each of these factors is invaluable.
Smart Selling Tip:
The marketing plan for an older house should create buyer confidence in its condition and showcase its unique charm. Rely on the expertise of your REALTOR® to evaluate the factors that determine a suitable listing price.
©2010 Sandy LeRoy and Mary Stephens