5 tips for taking your up-and-coming listing from ‘for sale’ to ‘sold’

Make sure your potential buyers see the charm in the home and the neighborhood, and remove uncertainties

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A young couple, newly married, wants to own a home, but they’ll have tradeoffs and compromises. Will they give up on the amenities or number of rooms? Will they go for the established community or get more bang for their buck in the up-and-coming neighborhood?

The trend is clear: more and more young people are choosing the up-and-coming neighborhood. According to recent data, millennials continue to move to cities like Seattle or Norfolk, Virginia.

When they get there, they often buy in affordable neighborhoods that fit their lifestyles and their budgets.

As the listing agent of a property in an up-and-coming neighborhood, you have so much opportunity to capitalize on a trending location — realize you are selling not only a house, you are selling the surrounding community too.

You can move that listing in an up-and-coming neighborhood from “for sale” to “sold” by following a few tips that capitalize on what a buyer is looking for.

1. Strategically direct traffic

Maybe the school district didn’t perform or the crime rates come into question. Once these associations come with an area, it can create a stigma that lasts for years, if not longer. But, whatever the reason, you want to show off the exceptional parts of a neighborhood to potential buyers.

Disclosure is critical, but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad. Disclose negative attributes that are moving in the right direction.

For example, if the average income of the area is on the rise, highlight that. If the crime rate is trending down, point that out.

When touring the area, start by highlighting the intangibles of the area, such as access to public transportation, shopping, parks and investment in infrastructure. The goal is to help your buyers see that the area is becoming more and more desirable.

When promoting the listing, keep in mind buyers, may visit the area before even inquiring about the property.

For that reason, specify directions in the listing that give potential buyers a good first impression. Be sure to provide the top spots that will help them focus on the positive trends observed versus the area’s troubled past.

2. Highlight local businesses

When showing the property, it’s a prime opportunity to remind potential buyers of the spots along the journey. Perhaps there’s a local coffee shop that just opened, or a bakery that serves excellent coffee cake — now’s the time to sell the neighborhood’s lifestyle, not just the house.

Up-and-coming neighborhoods come with a charm that more established communities may no longer provide. Big-box retailers tend to focus their dollars on “safe bets,” which can squeeze out small and family-owned businesses.

And, if a Starbucks or Whole Foods recently opened in the area, it’s even better — the chain believes its business will be successful in the community. Point that out! The store’s target market — whether it’s health-conscious young adults or community-oriented families — is likely flocking to the area.

3. Share the potential upside of purchasing here

Many young people move to an up-and-coming neighborhood with the hopes it’ll appreciate. You can, without making promises of course, share any number of details that help them understand that it’s a good investment they’re making with the purchase of a home.

Perhaps it’s the development that’s coming just a few blocks away, or the recent sale prices, and how they’ve appreciated over the past few years. Maybe the best metric is the number of days that a home has spent on the market.

In the case of up-and-coming neighborhoods, homes may have sat on the market for months. With an area’s transformation, however, homes are probably changing ownership within weeks.

This signals to buyers a location’s potential. They’ll want to get in before this becomes an unaffordable location as well. Point this out to potential buyers, and spur them into action.

4. Showcase the home’s character 

Your listing often shares the rich cultural background as its up-and-coming neighborhood. Share those details. The story of the home will entice more buyers, who will feel part of something deeper and richer — the very fabric of the community itself.

Perhaps you can note some of the architectural details or give background about when the homes were built and why. Several communities rose with the local economy, and those stories live on in the homes that remain.

Provide the rich history to potential buyers, who might see an opportunity, not a difficulty.

5. Consider a pre-listing inspection

The likelihood of a property having a significant deficiency can increase with a home’s age, and first-time homebuyers can be weary of a home that might be hiding costly issues.

Consider having the listing inspected prior to putting it on the market to make sure there are no significant problems that could quell a buyer’s enthusiasm after you’ve worked so hard to sell them on the area.

These tips can help you market and sell that listing in an up-and-coming neighborhood, giving the buyers a wonderful place to call home.

Kathleen Kuhn is the president of HouseMaster. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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