I recently had a conversation with someone about a house that had been on the market for a very long time. The house had a few offers, but every offer fell through. It was a great house in a great neighborhood and priced below the market because it needed some minor repair work. There was definitely potential in the house with a little TLC. My response after hearing about this great house was simply, “If it’s that good of a deal - don’t you think someone would have swooped it up sooner? There has to be something majorly wrong or it would not be on the market for this long.”
I’m that house!
I’m really a woman with a heart and soul and not just a piece of real estate, but my business head understands life better through these types of analogies so please stay with me here while I explain.
Here are the three major reasons why homes don’t sell: price, condition, and location
Price – Is the house priced comparably to others like it in the market?
I’ve been on the market for nine years. I’ve actually already lowered the price. When I was first single I was overly picky - one tiny thing and I was turned off. I REALLY REALLY cut my price a few times and that was not wise at all. I even had a closing date set two years ago and am very thankful that that deal fell through. I’m worth more than that and thankfully I realized it sooner rather than later.
Condition – Is the house messy? Does it have strange smells? Does it have good bones?
Like that house, I think I show fairly well with a quick drive-by. I look comparable to the neighborhood – nothing out of the ordinary. Sure, there’s a little snow on the roof and some cellulite in the basement, but for an older home I am holding up OK. I don’t notice any strange smells; the house gets a good cleaning daily and is very conscious of the maintenance required to keep it running properly (like exercise and kale salads). As for the snow on the roof - no worries there because that maintenance is taken VERY seriously. That snow gets brushed off every six weeks come rain or shine. The cellulite in the basement makes the basement feel warmer and a little more comfy and it usually comes with an older home especially one that has had a few children. For reals.
Now go inside. Do you see the cracks around the windows? They are actually wrinkles from 47 years of laughing and smiling and crying. Those windows have seen a lot of beauty and pain in life, and are still wide open to share life with a loving family. Those widows are determined to see more sunshine than rain, and will always see the bright side and the rainbow after any storm.
And then there’s my favorite part of any house – the kitchen! The kitchen is called the heart of the home and this kitchen is big and open and full of love! This kitchen has been used a lot (sometimes good and sometimes bad). Some people don’t value a great kitchen, but some do. This home needs someone who looks first at the kitchen and what they can make WITH the kitchen - NOT (at first) with what the kitchen can do for them. (And on a side note – good things can happen when you’re BOTH cooking together in the kitchen! Wink wink)
Location – This variable cannot change which makes price and condition critical. Location CAN, however, drive the value up or down.
My location is not going to change for at least 3.5 more years, or more, depending on what my kids do and where they settle. Maybe then I’ll move to Nashville and find me a “pick-up-truck-country-music-man-with-a-beard-and-soft-jeans-who-smells-amazing-and-loves-Jesus” – but this is Ohio which is thankfully not too terribly far from Nashville so I’m thinking there might still be a hidden cowboy here somewhere. I’ve got my peepers open!
So, the house will remain on the market another long cold winter and maybe, just maybe, next spring when the market comes back, a strong (and handsome) buyer will come along. Here’s the cool part – a LOT of work is happening on the inside of this house right now and this house doesn’t mind sitting empty while the exciting changes are happening!
Let’s face it, this isn’t an 18 year old home, but some people prefer the charm of older homes!