How to Sell A House on A Busy Street
Tips for Selling a Home on a Busy Road
Over the years there have been a few people who have asked me if there is anything different about selling a home on a busy street. There are challenges to selling many homes—but some are definitely more difficult than others.
Homes on busy streets are one type of home that takes extra finesse to unload for a great price. But don’t despair, it can be done. You just have to take the appropriate steps and exercise some patience. Trial and error is usually not the best approach when trying to sell a home on a busy street.
What you need to do is follow some time-tested home selling tips. Above all else, you need to price your home appropriately based on your location constraints. Unfortunately, you can’t change where your home is located, but you can price accordingly.
1. Have realistic expectations.
This advice applies to every home seller, not just you. It is extremely common for sellers to spend some time perusing the internet and looking at homes for sale. They get excited when they find homes that they think are similar to theirs and start to assume that they can ask for the same price. Unfortunately, this kind of research can be misleading—especially if your home is on a busy street.
Realtors use a lot of different data points to determine the asking price of a home. In the case of your home, it is only reasonable to compare prices of similar homes in similar locations.
When you do, you will see that homes on busy streets tend to go for around 10% less than similar homes on a quiet street. The price difference can range between 5% and 15%. Pricing the home accurately should be your top consideration.
The biggest mistake I see owners make when trying to sell their property on a busy road is not understanding location differences. You can break location down into three types:
Homeowners need to understand that the identical home situated in a subdivision is going to sell for more money than one on a busy street. A house located in a neighborhood will almost always sell for more than one on a country road as well.
Why is this the case? The simple answer is housing demand. There are far more home buyers that will look for a home in a neighborhood vs. on a busy street. This is especially true if the buyer has young kids.
Buying a home on a busy road is a significant compromise for most people. In fact, many buyers will go out of their way to pick the best neighborhood in town and compromise on the house.
Pricing a home accurately when located on a busy street is a critical part of the selling process! You don’t want online shoppers sitting at their computer thinking you are insane.
2. Put some work into the landscaping.
Potential buyers are going to see the busy street as soon as they step out to view the home. There is nothing you can do about that. But you can make your home look more attractive by putting in some work on the exterior, mainly the landscaping.
Make the harsh pavement and passing cars have to compete with a well-manicured lawn, pretty flowers, green shrubs and plenty of mulch to fill in the spaces. The lusher you can make the front of the home, the more welcoming it will appear to visitors.
Curb appeal becomes even more critical for houses located on busy streets. Having that WOW factor can definitely soften the blow of the noisy traffic that continually buzzes by the house. Another way to think of it is staging for the exterior of your house. Use these staging tips to make your home more salable.
3. Add landscaping features to create a barrier.
There are quite a few additions you can consider that will help to separate your home from the street. You can add a stone wall, a wooden fence and/or shrubs to create a visual barrier and a sound barrier.
You can also add a water feature to combat the road noise and make the setting look more peaceful.
One of the best ways of making a home on a busy street easier to sell is by having a row of mature arborvitaes at the edge of the road where your property begins. Arborvitaes create an excellent barrier that not only can help block the view of the street but dampen a bit of the sound as well.
4. Build a fence.
A fence makes an excellent barrier with the road visually and to keep the noise out, but it also serves as a safety feature for many buyers. Security-minded buyers will appreciate having something between their home and a busy roadway.
Parents will like knowing that their children will be protected from the road and anyone on the sidewalk. And pet owners will be happy that they can let their furry friends out in the front without worrying that they will wander into the road.
5. Make the backyard a restful escape.
No matter how much work you put into the front yard, it will still be evident that there is a road in front of the home. The presence of the road will make the front yard less desirable than the backyard, so it stands to reason that the backyard will be where the new owners will spend most of their time outside the home.
The backyard is an area that you can make really appealing, a strong selling point that appeals to buyers. Take some time to plan out backyard improvements.
Get the yard landscaped with attractive flowers and shrubs. Set up some yard furniture so people can sit outside in comfort. Perhaps add a hammock for pure relaxation. A water feature out back will be easier to appreciate than one out front.
Depending on the area you are selling in, adding some raised garden boxes can make the home appealing to a healthy percentage of buyers. Consider how your target buyer will want to use the back and adapt your plans based on what you determine.
6. Install noise-reducing windows.
If you are building a home located on a busy street, you might want to consider noise reducing windows. Modern window technologies may surprise you with how well they can insulate against road noise.
When selling on a busy road, it might be worth it to have some literature available on display that highlights these windows. It probably would not make sense for you to install them because of return on investment unless your windows were ancient and in tough shape.
7. Don’t spend more than you can make back in the sale.
All this talk of making improvements can get out of hand if you are not careful. You definitely want to do what you can to attract buyers, but you also want to avoid losing money in the deal. There is a fine line between improvements that will help you sell and improvements that will cost you money.
Talk to your agent about what you should and shouldn’t do to improve the home. You may be better off selling your home as is and just price accordingly. A local real estate expert should be able to advise what will work best for your situation.
8. Consider selling as a commercial space.
When selling on a busy road, it is always important to know your local zoning. Quite often homes located on heavily traveled roads are in commercial districts. Are there are business type properties in close proximity to your house?
You may find that no matter what improvements you make, you still can’t attract a buyer willing to pay what you want for the house. If you run up against this obstacle, it may be necessary to look towards commercial buyers to get the deal you want.
Particular businesses are happy to take a residential home and make it into an office. Others may want to combine the residential and commercial, living and working in the home. These commercial buyers will be glad to have space on a busy street. All that traffic is potential business, and that is a real value.
If the zoning allows, this could be a win-win for you.
9. Hire a Realtor that knows how to sell your home.
In the age of Zillow and other online resources, it has never been more appealing to sell your own home. But the cost savings that seem so obvious can turn out to be a mirage when the rubber hits the road.
Selling a home can be tough no matter how desirable it is. A house on a busy street is usually more challenging. If you want to sell your home, you need an agent who knows how to find a buyer for a home like yours—one who will pay the price you want for your home.
Yes, an agent must be paid a commission, which comes out of your profits. But an agent is more likely to get you a great offer, which can more than make up for the cost of the commission. An agent will also deal with all the hassles of the sale. Rest assured, when selling a home on a busy street, there are always hassles.
When the real estate market is hot, you find more sellers willing to try their hand at selling for sale by owner. What many don’t realize, however, is what they could be giving up! In strong seller’s markets, it is not uncommon at all to see bidding wars on homes. Many homes are selling significantly over asking prices because of how competitive it is for buyers. People are literally fighting over homes.
When you try to sell for sale by owner you can kiss goodbye your chances of getting multiple offers. The competitive advantage of a top-shelf real estate agent brings to the table is enormous. To get multiple bids on your home, you need EXPOSURE – something you lack when going FSBO.
Focus on hiring a real estate agent with killer marketing!
Let’s face it when selling on a busy road you need to pull out all the stops. Having a real estate agent with a killer real estate marketing plan is key.
These are some of the things you should look for:
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