Selling in a Bad Neighborhood and You’re Worried the Location of Your Home Will Divert the Sale?

Bad locations: What Can Lend to Creating a “Bad Neighborhood?”

There are many reasons a neighborhood is classified as “bad.” Obviously, this depends partially on perspective and who’s making the judgement. Sometimes a neighborhood can be classified as a bad location, but also be just one street away from an area that is said to be “desirable.” But, there are some things that are pretty consistently associated with bad neighborhoods or are known to negatively affect the location of a home:

  • Close to freeways or train tracks with a lot of traffic
  • In an industrial park or a lot of commercial properties
  • Close proximity to apartment buildings
  • Schools (congestion during pick-up and drop-off times)
  • Cemeteries
  • Government buildings or housing
  • Utility buildings or power plants
  • Loud neighbors or college students
  • High crime rate area

How You Can Improve Your Chances of Selling in a Bad Neighborhood:

Staging and presentation: First of all, knowing what your disadvantages are going into the sale is key. The more honest you are, the better response you’ll get from prospective buyers. Plus, if you know what your home’s downfalls are, you can try to present them in a way that won’t deter buyers quite as much. For example, if your home is right next to a school and you know that buyers may be worried about traffic, be sure to highlight a positive feature of this negative, such as “you can keep a closer eye on your kids and their walk home is so short.” How you present the negative attributes of the location of your home can make all of the difference! Some would even say to keep those things in mind when you host open houses etc., as to hide the “problems.” For example, if your neighbors consist of a frat house and other college students who party in the front lawn on weekends, some may opt to only hold open houses during the week as to “hide” the potential issue. But, we believe that honesty is the best policy. You don’t want to “trick” your prospective buyer into thinking that the neighborhood is quiet and calm if that simply isn’t the case.

Rather than hiding your loud or messy neighbors from your buyers, you should focus on accentuating the positives of your home. Ultimately, there is a buyer out there for every home. Many first time buyers know they may be needing to buy in “not the best” neighborhoods, and are okay with that. What you can do to improve your chances of selling is focus on your home’s best selling points. Begin with creating a very inviting entry and improve curb appeal. It also helps if the home has been recently updated: small updates in the kitchen and bathrooms can go a long way.

With that being said, if your house is in a rough neighborhood and you know you may be asked to lower the price, be sure to leave room for that and don’t spend too much on repairs.

Pricing: With a rough location, no matter what makes the location undesirable, you should expect to list your home at a lower price than comparable properties in the area (who don’t suffer from the same location issues). Depending on the severity of the location, this can be a price reduction between 10 and 20 percent.

If your home is in a tough neighborhood or unattractive location, you ought to be careful not to price yourself out of the market. The last thing you want is for the home to sit on the market without any attention because you’re asking too much given its negative qualities. A home that sits can scare buyers away even more. Improving the appeal and interior of the house only goes so far if the location is poor, so understanding that a price reduction may be inevitable is very important.

Selling direct to an investor: Another option that doesn’t require you to fix anything up in the home or try to hide your neighbor’s mess is to sell directly to an investor. Investors are different than a traditional home buyer because we can see certain opportunities that others cannot. Traditional buyers may expect that the home be turnkey or without any needed repairs if they are to buy in a bad neighborhood, as to sort of offset the sacrifice. As an investor, we expect to put work into a home and the exterior in order to meet today’s buyer’s needs. Rather than having to invest the money into repairs yourself, you can have a guaranteed sale when selling direct to a buyer.