Location, Location, Location…?


We’ve all heard the old adage- real estate is location, location, location. And this, of course, holds true when you are purchasing a property, but what about when selling one?

We acquire real estate in a myriad of ways- the traditional one where a buyer chooses the property and purchases it, or maybe we inherited the property, or purchased it at a tax sale, or made a deal with our landlord to buy it on a lease with option. The point is, we own this particular property and now we want to sell it. But what can we get for it?

The three words we need to consider when selling a property are Location, Condition, and Price.


There isn’t anything we can do about a property’s location; whether it affects the property value or not, it is what it is. If you’re located next to a gun range, a garbage dump, a metal shop, etc, then yes, the price will be affected. If you have a sprawling view of sparkling water, or are located deep in the heart of pristine woods, your price will be affected. But we can’t control the location of our property, which brings us to placing the focus on the next two factors.


My brother in law mentioned on Christmas that he might be in the market for his first house next year. He asked me what he should be looking for in a home. He got my usual response… “Look at the structure of the home. Is the foundation solid? Any bowed walls? Any evidence of water? How’s the roof? Is there good insulation? And what about the mechanicals- has the furnace been newly replaced? How old is the water heater? Is the electrical system old and at capacity? And what about the other things like the condition of the windows, doors, siding, and finally, is the floor plan functional for your needs?”

These are all things that affect the condition of a home. And not only that, but these also affect the marketability of the home.  If the house needs a new roof, for example, financing options are limited. The traditional VA, RD, and FHA buyers (which are the vast majority of the purchasers out there) are immediately excluded from being able to buy this home. Sure, there are special options for those buyers, but “special” usually equals “hassle”.  So, all in all, condition can affect financing options and, trust me, buyers deal with enough things that can muck up their loan; they don’t need the condition of the house to add to it.

Location, location, locationSo let’s say structurally and mechanically the property is sound. Will the seller get top dollar? Ummmm, no.  Ever wonder why networks like HGTV and DIY have taken off? Or why Houzz.com and Pinterest are so popular? Because the cosmetic appeal of a property is equally as important to the buyer as the structure.

My brother in law wants a gourmet kitchen. Try as I might to get him to look at the bones of the home, I know he will be drawn to whatever house has the dream kitchen he envisions. The homes that sell the fastest and for top value are the ones that appeal visually to the buyer. What most buyers want to see are warm paint colors, newer flooring, nice furniture and wall décor. (Think IKEA or cozy cottage.) What they don’t want to see is 1985 linoleum, pink toilets, and grandma’s couch and recliner set in the living room. Believe it or not, all of this is important.

So now that we’ve examined location and condition, we have a little better understanding of where the price comes into play. If the property hasn’t sold and we know it isn’t the location or the condition affecting the sale, then it all comes down to price.



Everything will sell… if the price is right. As Realtors®, we know our sellers want as much as they can get for a property. But the truth is, your property is only worth what someone will pay for it. A common tactic employed by sellers is to “list it high because I can always come down”. Well, buyers don’t know that the price is very negotiable, and so they will either not bother to even look at the house, or they will look at it and decide against writing an offer because they are afraid of being offensive by what might be considered “low-balling”.  So start the price of the property at its fair market value. And if after a month or two, no offers have come in, then it is time to re-examine those three little words: Location, Condition and Price.

Taking the time to consider these factors will make for a faster, top-value sale. Remember, buyers are plentiful. Perfect houses are not.