If you’ve tried to sell a home faster, particularly in a competitive market, then you know how frustrating that can be. Mostly, it takes months, sometimes even years, before an ideal buyer appears and makes a great offer.
The challenge doesn’t get any easier when it comes to older homes, despite them being a work of art and possessing historical value and other unique features. To speed up the sale, some homeowners opt to sacrifice profits by lowering the price to an irresistible amount. Is that the route you want to take now?
I guess your answer is ‘no’.
Historical homes noticeably aren’t for every buyer, but they can possibly be ideal for the majority of them if you tweak a few areas in your marketing strategy, find ways to assuage the fears of your potential buyers about older homes, accompany it with irresistible offers, among many other measures we’ll be looking at shortly
Get A Home Warranty
A home warranty insurance has multiple benefits, including helping you sell a home. In the case of older homes, chances are your potential buyers will express fears about the possibility of dealing with major repairs given the fact that the house is a bit aged.
Your historical house having a home warranty means the homeowner will be paid by an insurance company if the major appliances, electrical or plumbing systems fail within the first year of home ownership. The annual premium is usually anywhere between $300 and $500.
Also, unless you have the money and time to fix the old appliances and perform huge repairs, a home warranty is the best option you have to reassure the buyers that they personally won’t have to deal with such expenses.
Offer Repair Credits and Renovation Loans
Considering that you may not have the money or energy to perform repairs and that some buyers prefer to do renovations customized to their preferences, a repair credit can be a win-win option, both for you and the buyer.
But before you offer one, have a property inspection done and share the findings with the buyer. Sometimes interested buyers even opt to have an inspection done for specific areas, say the roof, pool, sewer line, and so on. But this can work to your disadvantage if the buyer begins to re-negotiate the price based on the findings.
So, always let the potential buyers know to expect. Whereas some can be discouraged by such, there are those who will see it as an opportunity to modify the home to match their taste.
Renovation loans are also another way to win over a potential buyer for your old home. Bring it up in your marketing materials. Make the buyer aware of the fact that there’s a chance to wrap the renovation expenses into their mortgage. Show them the estimated mortgage payments based on different renovation plans at specific price points.
Depersonalize The Home
If you choose to make upgrades and repairs to your old home, it would be great to make the property impersonal. This means doing away with things like quirky art, collectibles, home décor portraits, decorative canvas, and vibrant colors.
Remember, what appears attractive to you may not really appear the same way to another person. Therefore, your prime aim as a seller should be to create a space in which potential buyers can visualize their tastes and how their family or lifestyle can fit in.
Neutralize and make it simple, just as any model home would be like. Don’t forget to make it clean. As much as this may be hard to do because of the attachment we have to our homes, take hope in the fact you’ll be able to decorate the next place you’ll move to any way you want.
Small Changes Can Have a Big Impact
In a competitive market, small changes can really make a huge difference. Whether it’s due to the fact that you don’t have the money to do major renovations, lack the time, or it’s a choice you’d rather go with, small repairs can easily boost the exterior/interior appeal and functionality of your old home.
Examples include landscaping, fixing leaky pipes, cleaning stained toilets, tubs and windows, patching holes, fixing broken hinges and doors, replacing cabinet knobs, and installing bright bulbs to brighten the home.
Because it’s a historic home, remember not to add anything that can make the home lose its unique character.
It’s not entirely true that historic homes only attract old buyers, making them a hard sell. As the stats have shown, millennials are leading other generations in buying homes today. Taking the extra steps we’ve looked at can make your old home attractive to these young buyers and many other potential homeowners.
Above everything else, hire professional photographers and writers to be part of your marketing team. A persuasive write-up and well-staged images play a huge role in capturing the interest of potential buyers. If you are stuck or would like help from a professional, talk to a reliable property management firm.
Sabine Ghali is Director at Buttonwood Property Management, a property management company in Toronto. She is an entrepreneur at heart who endeavors to help investors create real estate wealth over time in the Greater Toronto Area. You can see a full list of services that Buttonwood offers at buttonwood.ca.