Solution for Selling a Home in a Bad Location

Buying House in a Noisy LocationIt’s really hard to tell a seller who has lived happily in a home for 30 years that it will be a challenge selling that Sacramento home because it’s in a bad location, but I manage to share that news when it’s warranted. It’s my job as a Sacramento real estate agent to set realistic expectations for my sellers and to be straight with them. The apartment buildings behind this pool home were a major concern, and I knew it would turn off buyers.

Now, some agents get upset when sellers have their own way of dealing with such news, which is sometimes to ignore it and see how things go, but that’s the seller’s prerogative. It doesn’t bother me. I get it. The seller is the boss. The seller owns the home and makes the rules. I would never come back and say I told you so. That’s not my style — although I might think it because I am human. But I completely understand a seller who may have trouble coming to grips with the reality of a situation. Nobody wants to realize his childhood home is stigmatized because of a bad location. Sellers who need time to process can take all of the time they need.

This particular home had a beautiful back yard, a covered patio, sparkling pool that had just been refinished, and a separate area for parking RVs, complete with a row of storage sheds. But all those apartment windows looming over the pool was a huge concern for buyers. It screamed: bad location.

Agent after agent sent me feedback over a 3-month period stating their buyers would buy that home except for the apartments, which I forwarded to the seller. Potential buyers didn’t want strangers gawking at their kids. After the seller read the numerous feedback statements over and over, he finally asked what he could do. Well, the obvious was to lower the price, but a better option was to fix the problem. No, I don’t mean blow up the apartments. But you can erase them from the picture, just like you can in Photoshop, by putting up a barrier to block the view.

For about $5,000, the seller planted 28 Italian Cypress trees along the back fence. That process involved digging through the concrete by the fence. Once that plan was put into place, the home sold at list price to a large extended family. The seller had become so used to the building over the years that when he looked into the back yard, he did not see it. Now the buyer won’t see it, either.

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