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Selling a Great House in a Bad Neighborhood (How-To Guide)

October 10 2018
by Leisl Bailey

how to sell a great house in a bad neighborhood

Every home will sell for a price. While sellers prefer that price to be their asking price or higher, often there are situations that are out of the seller’s control– like the neighborhood. If you’re wondering how to sell a house in a bad neighborhood, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our top tips on how to sell a house in a bad neighborhood.

How to Sell a House in a Bad Neighborhood

There’s a few things you can do when you have a great house in a not-so-stellar neighborhood. The first things you’ll want to do is to check out your real estate agent, up the curb appeal, make sure you disclose everything, offer incentives, and price accordingly.

The Right Real Estate Agent

If you are selling your house FSBO, you may want to re-think that. Selling your house yourself is difficult strategy anyway, but the difficult neighborhood will make the task significantly more difficult. Consider using a real estate agent who has a history of selling homes in the area that you are wanting to sell in.

If you are using a real estate agent, make sure the lines of communication are open and they aren’t costing you the sale to save their pride. Some real estate agents don’t want to drop their price because they feel they’re “right” while others are just plain inexperienced. In both cases, your real estate agent isn’t taking the necessary steps to sell your house and it needs to be talked about.

Sit your real estate agent down and talk strategy. Ask them a few questions such as:

  •  How long has the home been on the market?
  • What are they doing to market the house?
  •  What are other housing markets doing? (make sure to ask for data on this one)
  •  Is it time to consider a price drop?

If the agent’s answers don’t line up to what you were promised or it’s clear the agent is either unwilling or unable to make the sale, you may want to get a new agent.

Up the Curb Appeal

You can’t control the area your house is in, but you can control how much of it is seen from your house.

Create a privacy screen by planting some shrubs or trees along the property line to provide a bit of privacy. Plant some colorful flowers, and make sure your house and yard is looking it’s best.

If the neighboring yards are part of the problem, you may consider asking them if you could mow their lawn while your home is on the market.

While you’re at it, make sure to take potential buyers along the “scenic route” when coming to your house. Where ever you give directions to your house (MLS listing, fliers, in person) make sure they go by the nicest yards and houses in the area.

The route may not be the most direct one to take to your house, but it will provide them with a more optimistic view when they arrive at your place.

Disclose Everything

It’s not ideal to have a telephone pole in your yard– but if it’s a determining factor in a sale, honesty is the best policy. Take a picture of the “problem areas” if you can see them from your house. Make note of it in the description as well.

As you are disclosing the issues of the house, balance it out with the perks of the place. If the neighbor has a car on cinderblocks next door, show the view of the mountain from your living room or highlight the peaceful oasis you’ve created in the backyard.

Don’t have a selling feature? Create one. Even if it’s just a great starter home for a family or freshly painted exterior, you want to offset the faults with incentives.

Hold Open Houses

Holding open houses is a great way to bring in a few extra potential buyers. Advertise for the open houses a few days in advance in local gathering spaces such as your library and social media groups. Remember to give them directions along the scenic route!

Make the house as inviting as possible. Bake some cookies in the oven, send your dogs out for the day (preferably somewhere off the property), and clean it up. You may even consider moving out of the home and getting it staged for showings.

A staged home provides a blank slate for potential buyers to see themselves living there.

If the downside to your neighborhood is loud neighbors or crowded streets, try to hold the house open during the times that those events aren’t taking place. It’s easier for a potential buyer to overlook a crowded street as a possibility in the future rather than the obstacle that made them late to a showing.

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Offer Incentives

Offering incentives is a great way to get interested parties even more interested. Credits toward repairs, closing costs covered, and other offerings can be extremely tempting to buyers who need them.

If you’re feeling generous and are up to the task, you could even offer owner financing options. This puts the bulk of collecting the money on you, and you wouldn’t have the money from your sale right away, but it has worked well for many others in the past.

Drop the Price

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article– every house will sell for a price.

If your home has been sitting on the market for a while without any bites, it may be due to your price. Speak with your real estate agent about dropping the price to add incentive to potential buyers.

While this is the last resort for many sellers, dropping the price can help you forego the other advice given in this article. For the right price, you won’t have to hold open houses or stage and professionally clean it. You won’t even have to approach the neighbors about cleaning up their yard.

If you do plan to drop your price, be especially careful not to make renovations to your property. Many times people will remodel the kitchen or add an extra room as an incentive for people to buy. If the neighborhood is bad but you’ve added a $20,000 kitchen, you may never see a return on your investment.

When figuring out how to sell a house in a bad neighborhood, keeping costs low is key. Certainly, clean up your house and get it as nice and ready as possible for potential buyers, but don’t put work in that doesn’t add value to the house. For a list of things that do add value to your house, check out this article.

Selling a great house in a bad neighborhood is tough, but you can do it. By making sure you have a top, local agent, increasing the curb appeal, disclosing everything, holding open houses, offering incentives, and dropping the price– you’ll get your house sold in no time. Call us today at   1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started.

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