In today’s mobile society, most people buy and sell homes many times over their lifetime. The marketability and ease with which a home is likely to sell is an important consideration when purchasing real estate. This article briefly reviews some common structural and maintenance features of a home or condo that could adversely impact the owner’s ability to sell the home.
Problems with the Lot or Site
1. Limited Or No Yard Space. Buyers may avoid homes or condos that have limited or no yard space, especially if comparable homes in the community have this feature.
2. Unappealing Views. Homes or condos with no views or unappealing views are less desirable than properties with appealing views.
3. Flag Lots. Flag lots do not meet minimum frontage requirements, and access to the street is limited and often through a private right-of-way or driveway. Some buyers may find flag lots undesirable.
4. High-Tension Electrical Lines. The presence of high-tension electrical lines near a home or condo may dissuade some buyers from purchasing a property.
5. Street Problems. Buyers may avoid homes or condos that have very steep driveways or are situated on busy or noisy streets.
6. Water Drainage. Properties situated on lots that may flood or lack proper drainage are likely to have resale problems.
7. Unsafe Neighborhoods. Buyers may avoid homes and condos in communities that they perceive as unsafe.
8. Limited Population for Re-sale. Buyers may avoid homes or condos in communities that will not appeal to a broad range of prospective buyers in the future. For example, some vacation communities or rural towns only appeal to a limited segment of buyers. Therefore, an owner’s ability to re-sell the property in the future may also be limited.
9. No Other Similar Properties Nearby. The market price of most residential properties is set by the sale value of similar nearby properties. Homes that do not have comparable sales could face a potential resale problem.
10. Similar Features. The absence of typical amenities may pose a problem when selling a home or condo. For example, when all the houses in a neighborhood have garages, buyers may overlook homes that do not offer this feature.
11. Unusual Architectural Design. Homes that have a popular local style will sell faster and attract more buyers than homes that do not fit the community’s aesthetics.
12. Environmental Factors. Properties located near facilities that have hazardous or toxic substances may be less desirable to prospective home buyers.
Home Improvement Problems
13. Unnecessary Improvements. Homes or condos with improvements that do not impact the property’s market value may actually diminish the marketability of a property. Owners should carefully consider how a proposed improvement would impact the future resale potential of the property.
Maintenance or Repair Problems
14. Disrepair and Maintenance. Home or condos that are lacking proper maintenance may be less desirable than homes in pristine condition. However, this could work the other way also as some buyers seek out “fixer uppers” and are willing to pay a reduced price for these types of properties. Examples of maintenance problems include a leaky roof, pealing paint, worn out or dirty carpet or flooring, structural defects, etc.
Insurance Claim Problems
15. Insurance Claims Against a Property. Homes or condos that have several insurance claims may be less appealing to prospective buyers. For example, some homebuyers may perceive a property with a repeated history of flooding or fires as undesirable.
There are many factors that impact a home’s marketability. Since most home owners buy and sell properties many times over a lifetime, a property’s resale potential should be an important consideration when purchasing a home or condo. Those interested in selling a home should review the above comments and determine if there are areas that may be addressed to improve the home’s marketability.