Getting ready to sell a property? If so, what you’ll be most interested in is making sure you can get as much money for it as possible. There are numerous factors that drive property prices up and down, some of which are readily in your control, and some of which aren’t. Regardless, it’s a good idea to go into any property sale having a good idea about what is realistically achievable for the property you’re selling so you don’t overprice it. Overpricing a property will mean it sits on the market for longer, which will unfortunately turn potential buyers off, even if you later reduce the price.
So, what factors are affecting your property value? Here are the big 5.
5 Factors That Could Drive Your Property Value Down
Location is by far the biggest factor in how much a property can sell for. The most desirable locations will drive up property prices, in most cases, regardless of what the property actually offers. If the location is desirable enough, the plot alone will be the biggest selling point.
Of course, the opposite can also be true. Neighborhoods known for violence or homes in dying-out small towns in the middle of nowhere will find their location drags down the value of their property. In cases like this, it often isn’t worth improving a property beyond a certain point because you’ll never be able to make your money back.
If you’re not sure how your property’s location will affect the sale, consider:
- How quickly other homes are selling in the area
- Whether your area is particularly desirable as a vacation destination or to be close to a good school
- How close it is to major highways and public transportation
- What local amenities it has nearby (think about stores, attractions, nature)
- Whether there are any features nearby many people won’t want to live near (such as a noisy road, factory, jail, music venue or nightclub, racetrack, and so on)
- Local crime rates
- Any local history that’s less desirable (while many people will not be worried about this if it was an isolated incident, being on or near a street that was the recent location of a homicide or similar can affect your property price)
If your location isn’t sought after, or has some negative history, you will likely find it pulls down the value of your property.
2. Unusual Layout
While open-plan homes may be in fashion, there will always be people who love a cozy home with lots of individual rooms to make their own. What’s less desirable, however, are homes that have an unusual layout. For example, while shotgun-style homes are common in many areas of the south, and even desirable in areas like New Orleans, many people do not like the style.
If you don’t know, a shotgun home is a long, narrow home with the front door on the short side, with the rooms leading one after another through the house. Unless they’ve been updated, they rarely have a hallway for you to reach the rooms further back in the house. That means you often have to pass through a bedroom to reach one further back in the home.
Any time you have to walk through a room to reach another room, you will likely find your home’s value decreases – especially if it’s a bedroom.
3. Age and Condition
There are a lot of people who adore old homes, with their history and character. However, the people who are willing to live in and maintain a historical home are in the minority, especially if the home needs some updating to get it up to modern standards. If your home is on the older side and needs some updating (doesn’t have double glazing, good insulation, and so on), you will find it takes longer to sell and sells for less than more modern homes in the area.
4. Property Size
In a desirable area, a small property will still fetch a good price, but there’s no escaping the fact that it’s a case of the smaller the home, the less you can sell it for. A 3-bedroom home will always cost less than a 4-bedroom home. One with two living rooms will be more desirable than one with one.
In some cases, other features can negate the downsides of a smaller property (for example, many people would rather have a large garage than an extra bedroom). More isn’t always better if it means there’s “less” of another feature, but in general, the bigger the property, the more you’ll be able to sell it for.
5. Time of Year
In general, homes are worth less in the winter than they are in the summer. Why? Because people tend to hunker down in the winter and put off moving until spring, and so there’s less demand. The other factor is that, unless you live in a warm state like Florida, the world just isn’t as beautiful in winter. Your home which may have a lush backyard and manicured flowerbed in the front yard most of the year will look barren in winter. The lack of life around your home may make it feel less homely.
If you must sell in late fall or in winter, make sure you think about ways to make your home look as attractive as possible. Keep the driveway and walkways clear and salted, and turn the heat up a little in the house for viewings so people quickly warm up while exploring the home.
How to Sell Your Home When the Odds Are Against You
Some of these issues are more challenging than others, but if you’re looking to sell a property in Massachusetts that needs some TLC you don’t have the time or desire to give, we can help. We buy properties in as-is condition throughout Massachusetts, meaning you can sell without investing in costly repairs or updates. All you need to do is reach out to us with a few details about the property and we’ll send you our best cash offer. You’re under no obligation to accept, but if you do, we can close in as little as 2 weeks. To find out more or to get your offer, click here.