Your historic home provides a unique style and charm. Its walls hold tons of stories from the past. However, with the growing popularity of modern design, selling your house can be tricky. Here are 10 tips to help you get your property off the market.
The Value of Historical Homes
Besides the architectural uniqueness, your house is also more economically friendly for those with a tighter budget. This is perfect for millennials just coming out of college. They also may have more time on their hands to complete renovation projects.
Another financial benefit is that the government may offer tax incentives for those purchasing older homes. Your residence can also appeal to historical enthusiasts who want to preserve a piece of the past.
How to Successfully Sell Your House
Selling your home is a big decision. To get the most out of your investment, consider the following tips.
1. Find the Right Agent
Strategies for selling historic homes versus traditional homes are different. Look for a real estate agent familiar with antique homes to ensure your property falls into the right hands. You want to verify your broker has experience marketing these types of homes.
Before committing, ask them about their strategy ideas for advertising and pricing your home. Also, be prepared to negotiate the commission before signing any contract.
2. Keep Your Home’s Charm
An older home often receives more wear and tear. Renovation projects may be necessary to update certain features, such as appliances.
Make sure to keep the original style of your house in mind when making any changes. If your property loses its character, it could turn away potential buyers. However, there are some structural updates you can make while still preserving the history of your residence.
Consider adding overarched doorways with curved molding to emphasize classic design elements.
Here are some other remodeling projects to consider:
- Fix foundation issues.
- Repair your windows.
- Repair or replace your roof.
- Finish your basement or revamp your attic.
3. Make Modern Updates in Key Areas
While you want to keep your home true to its original style, you still want the house to be functional for buyers. The bathrooms and kitchens are good places to start. Consider updating your heating and cooling systems. Upgrade any kitchen appliances that aren’t properly functioning. Replace them with stainless-steel devices to attract potential buyers.
Another way to spruce up your space on a budget is to repaint cabinets or walls. When redecorating these spaces, look for pieces at your local architectural salvage store to match your home’s historic design. When looking for vintage items, look for ones that can have multiple purposes, such as a flat-topped blanket chest.
Be sure you’re working with contractors that are familiar with historic properties. You can also ask your real estate agent for a referral.
4. Protect Your Home’s Character With an Easement
After you’ve worked hard to maintain your house’s natural charm, protect it with a historical presentation easement. This legal agreement restricts the buyer from making any future renovations that could negatively impact the property’s historical value.
You typically record them on your deed. An easement can also give you some tax benefits. Just keep in mind that an easement may lower the value of your home.
5. Stage With the Modern Buyer in Mind
When potential buyers go to an open house, they tend to gravitate toward a more contemporary-style design. Consider balancing your antique items with more traditional furniture pieces and modern window coverings. If you have vintage-style drapes, try pairing them with a sleeker-looking sofa.
When staging your home, limit the amount of clutter to help free up space. Consider having less furniture in each room and clear off table areas. This allows the potential buyers to move around more easily and highlight prominent features, such as a fireplace.
6. Know Your Numbers
Prospective buyers will want to know when the house was built. Be sure you learn the history of your home before placing it on the market. This information can help persuade buyers to make an offer.
There is additional numerical information you want to keep in your head, too. Here are some other questions potential buyers may ask:
- What year did you make any additions or renovations?
- What are the average utility costs?
- What is the contact information for your homeowner’s insurance agent?
7. Highlight Your House’s History
One of the selling points of your property is its rich history. Find interesting details about the past owners and any impact the residence had on the local community. Knowing these small details can make your house stand out against more modern homes.
Here are some ways to research your home’s history:
- Look around your house: You may find documents or items buried in your yard or hidden inside the walls of your home to give you insight into the past.
- Check the public records: You can learn a lot by examining property records, census data, and newspaper archives.
- Go to your local Historical Society: This organization may already have valuable information about your property they are happy to share.
- Visit your local senior facility: Elderly residents may have insight that you can’t find in any record book.
8. Understand and Disclose Your Houses Restrictions
Along with an easement, local historic preservation ordinances can also place restrictions on your property. They may mandate review of alterations or prevent the demolition of historical residences. This can cause potential buyers to be a little more hesitant to purchase your house.
Make sure you are aware of any regulations before putting your house on the market. You can look up these policies on your town’s local website. Remember you want to state this information in your seller’s disclosure.
9. Incorporate the History Into Your Marketing Plan
When advertising your home, you want to highlight its antique features. In your listing description, mention things such as the original flooring or your fireplace’s unique design. To market your home, try placing it on a specialty real estate website like Circa. You can also ask your agent to share your listing on their social media accounts.
Here are some other marketing strategies to consider:
- Take photographs of both the interior and exterior.
- Host an open house.
- Offer a virtual tour of your home.
- Make signs.
- Advertise in your local newspaper.
10. Prepare for Repair Requests
While getting an offer on your home can be exciting, the buyer may provide a list of issues they want to be fixed. You want to understand which requests are reasonable and which you can negotiate.
To help make this decision, it’s a good idea to do a seller’s inspection before placing your house on the market. This allows you to catch potential issues ahead of time. The review is especially important for older homes that may face code violations. The examination helps you determine any necessary repairs.
Also, consult with your local agent to see which requests are more logical than others. For example, fixing minor issues, like loose finial on the railing or rooting beams on the front porch, are reasonable expectations.
Keep the Past Intact
Your historic home has its unique character that should be preserved. When it comes time to sell, you want to make sure your home goes to the right buyer. With interest for more modern homes increasing, it can be tough to get your property off the market. Consider these tips for selling your historical residence confidently and successfully.