Selling an Older House
Those home sellers who are fortunate enough to own older homes - whether it be a century-old Victorian house in Evanston or a Cape Cod in Libertyville built in the early 1900s - will undoubtedly find a steady stream of buyers once they list their residences with a real estate agent. The market for older homes is as strong as ever, and there are several buyers out there willing to forego the modern amenities of master bathrooms and large eat-in kitchens for the quiet charm of a century-old home.
The key for sellers hoping to move an older home off the market, though, lies not only in finding these buyers, but in presenting them with a home that while charming has also been upgraded enough so that living in it will not be a burden. Deciding exactly what that entails is the challenge the sellers of older homes face.
Basically, the buyers of older homes expect a seller to upgrade an older home's electrical systems and plumbing. They also will expect that sellers replace old roofs, outdated furnaces and inefficient air-conditioning systems. Serious buyers of older homes, though, won't expect sellers to have renovated small kitchens, transformed tiny bedrooms into imposing master suites or turned old bathrooms into spa-level facilities. The reason? People shopping for an older home realize that technology and luxury 75 years ago are not what they are today. They understand that certain features of their homes won't be the same as they are in newer properties.
The key to selling one of these older homes is to price it properly. Sellers who set too high a price will see their homes sit on the market. Those who keep a home's small bathroom and tiny kitchen in mind while setting a fair price, though, will see their homes move more quickly.
It's also important for the sellers of old homes to know if their properties have any serious problems before putting them on the market. That's why many real estate agents recommend that sellers of older homes order a home inspection before listing their residence. An inspection, which usually costs from $350 to $500 depending on the size and special features of a home, will find serious and not-so-serious defects with a house. Once owners know these problems, they can either repair them before listing their home or knock down their asking price if they'd rather not deal with the repairs.