We’ve all heard the old adage, “location, location, location” when talking about real estate. So what exactly does that mean? Does it apply to you, either as a seller or a buyer? Let’s explore the ramifications of “location”! Location doesn’t necessarily mean your neighborhood. Neighborhood helps, don’t get me wrong. But you can have the best house in the best neighborhood and still suffer from “lousy location”. Some situations are not so apparent. And most of these problems cannot be rectified. It “is what it is”, but with forethought and correct pricing, even homes with location problems can sell successfully and quickly!
I once interviewed for a listing in a very nice neighborhood with a long-time owner looking to down-size. The area was prime, with few competing listings on the market and plenty of buyers. But pulling into her driveway was a challenge, and I knew backing out was going to be difficult. It was on a heavily-traveled street. And, she wanted top dollar for the place. I asked her point blank, “What do you think will be the main objection from buyers?” Her answer was “the busy street”. Great location, lousy lot location.
Let’s consider a beautiful setting with five acres in the country. Great area, good schools, expensive homes. The home sits back a long, lazy driveway, far from any neighbors or disturbances. What would or even could be a buyer’s objection? The driveway! Don’t forget to factor in the cost of the equipment (we didn’t) to keep it maintained during rainy seasons, dust-free in the dry season, drifting in the winter and the chuck holes, oh my goodness! (This one came from MY situation!) Great location, lousy access!
Perhaps your home is in the city on a great lot, nice neighbors, and the homes are well-kept. What drives you crazy about the location? Maybe you have to make a left turn at the end of your street and there’s no stop light, causing you to wait extended periods of time during rush hour to get where you want to go? Buyer’s may notice this problem also.
I once toured a very nice property with buyers, and the home sat on a relatively blind curve. It was a suburban county road and the traffic was sparse, but fast. The buyers loved the house. They had a teen-aged daughter that was just a few months away from getting her driver’s license. I was the first to pull out and as soon as I did, I just knew these folks would not be putting an offer on the house. I looked both ways, looked again, and floored it, hoping to get out before another car came barreling around the curve! They had the same difficulty and texted me right away that they wouldn’t be putting an offer on the house.
And buyers, don’t let the junky house next door or on the street necessarily sway you from purchasing the home of your dreams. ANY house could become junky with time, even in the nicest of neighborhoods. And sellers, keep in mind the location objections potential buyers may discover when considering your home. Price it accordingly and realistically and it will sell!
As Appearing in the Canton Repository 4-1-16