Those who love old homes see great beauty and character in the woodwork and broken up rooms, but not every buyer will find that appealing. Selling a historic property requires a bit more foresight as not everyone is as thrilled with the idea of stripping lead paint off old wood or replacing an antiquated electrical system.
For people looking to buy a historical property to use as a vacation home, many may not want to put that much time and energy into something where they will only spend a small portion of their time.
As an agent, what you need to find is a buyer who sees beauty where others may not. Here are six tips to help you find that buyer.
1. Point Out Increased Property Value
A historic designation increases property value, something you should point out right up front. Because of disclosure rules, you do need to share the historical designation of the home and any restrictions that come with it.
For example, in some cities, you can’t significantly change the exterior and there may also be restrictions on what changes you can make to the interior.
2. Stage the Home Properly
Just like any property you’re trying to sell, the right staging allows a potential buyer to see the home as their own and for what it could be rather than only what it is.
For example, because rooms are often smaller, don’t clutter up the areas. Instead, keep the décor simple and sparse. This also shows buyers that the right furniture arrangement can give the illusion of more space.
Draw attention to the home’s historical designation with a decorative plaque. This allows buyers to read about a small portion of the home’s history before they walk through the front door.
3. Point Out the Benefits
Take the time to point out the benefits of buying a historic home. For example, historic homes may qualify for tax credits from state and local government if you are willing to pay to restore or maintain it.
Other benefits include being part of a revitalization project in the community, gaining help from local businesses who might donate or offer discounted materials for renovation projects and the satisfaction of preserving something unique and beautiful.
If the buyer plans to rent out the home via a service such as Airbnb when not using it themselves, then a historic home may offer more of a draw because of its unique features. It could also more easily be turned into a bed and breakfast should the owners ever wish to invest and turn it into a business.
4. Know the Home’s History
The perfect buyer will likely fall in love with the backstory of the home. Do some research on your own and talk to the sellers at length about its history, why it’s significant and how it stands out from all the other historic homes out there.
Since many people take friends and family along on their vacations, stress that they’ll now have an interesting story to share with them.
5. Show Off Original Features
One of the unique qualities of historical homes is that they contain detailed craftsmanship and beautiful handwork you just don’t see in newer houses. Point out what features the home contains and the history behind that particular piece of architecture or design. Why were the staircase banisters so ornate?
6. Point Out the Flaws
Every home has flaws, but historic homes are sometimes particularly challenging to remodel. Not only are you limited in how you can change things, but repairs may be much more expensive than those completed in newer properties.
Take a negative and turn it into a positive by reminding the buyer of all the other aspects that make it so special.
Selling Historic Homes
You have to see the diamond in the rough and share that vision with potential buyers. If you love the home, the buyers will pick up on your genuine passion for the historical elements and learn to appreciate them as well.
Understand that not everyone will be interested in taking on the challenge — and that’s fine. Be patient. You’ll find the perfect mix to reach the buyers who will love and appreciate the home the way it deserves.