Originally posted on March 20th, 2015
Sometimes a seller has a home that is facing external issues beyond his control. These can be neighborhood issues, location, busy street, crowded, noisy, overlooking industrial area, etc. There is nothing the seller can do specifically to change these external problems. If these problems existed when he bought the house then it is likely the price was reflective. The seller probably got a "deal" on it when he bought it.
Sometimes these external issues develop over time. Maybe a busy new shopping center was built down the street recently and that has created a negative vibe that wasn't there before. Regardless of what the external issue is sellers affected by them need to give special attention to their home to make certain the negative external issues are offset by positive internal value. Internal value comes in the form of the condition of the home and the presentation of the home.
Sellers faced with external negative value should prepare their home for the market by fixing most of the easily visible problems. A fresh coat of paint inside and out could go a long ways towards bringing internal value. Staging the house by eliminating unnecessary clutter and keeping it spotlessly clean will do wonders to overcome external problems.
The external problems will likely be noticed BEFORE the buyers ever enter the property. First impressions can be hard to shake off. It is critically important to show tremendous value once the buyer is inside the house. If they walk in and go, "Wow! I wasn't expecting this to be so nice inside..." the seller has done a good job at overcoming the external negatives.
Regardless of efforts to shine light on the positives the external issues are sometimes too great to completely overcome without a price advantage. But even if price is used to cover the gap, the nicer that home looks and feels the more money it will fetch.
The first and foremost thing to address is the front yard and entry to the home. The external issues have already been seen as the buyer approaches the home so having that front yard really sharp and clean will take attention off the external and put it on the value of the home itself. It is equally important that the buyer walk into the home and see as nice a presentation as possible. This takes their attention away from the negative and delivers a warm and desirable feeling of 'home'.
If the buyer has driven up the street and seen the external problem, then they already have reservations about the property. When they arrive up front the curb appeal is more important than ever. If the curb appeal is bad as well as the external you have two of the proverbial three strikes already in place. Sellers don't want to be facing an 0-2 count before the front door even opens, if you'll pardon the baseball parlance.
Have a landscaper spruce up the front yard. Make that entry and first room look as nice as possible. We all know that ultimately kitchens help sell homes, but if the house has some downside before the front door opens, then that first entry point becomes equally critical as the ever important kitchen!
Sellers need to overcome external problems and surprisingly, they can be overcome without too much time or expense. Failure however to compensate for external problems will result in the only other solution, a lower price or less favorable terms.
As the market continues to enjoy the upswing in prices, buyers can even seek out homes that have external issues and use those to leverage a better "deal". Of course the buyer ultimately has to be willing to tolerate those external problems.
The bottom line is that external issues need not be a break point for the seller. A little care and attention can save the seller a lot of heartache and maybe a whole lot of cash as well.
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