Selling a Home in a Historic Area

58HamiltonAve_print_32 As a Certified Residential Specialist (only 3% of agents in the U.S.  hold this coveted designation), I was thrilled to be quoted in a NovemberDecember CRS Magazine article on selling Historic Homes, and then I was mentioned in the Sotheby’s November Press Clips. Oh my goodness!  CRS-2009-Logo-Square-Color-LowRes

I live in a wonderful city  with a wonderful Historic Area. Majestic homes were originally built in the turn of the century, and I wrote a blog post about same : .

Beautiful, large Victorian Homes, Tudor Homes and stately Colonial homes with their columns representing a bygone era.  So many of the homes have architectural details that you would never find in a modern home today,  and the elegant rooms reflect a snapshot of life of yesteryear.

There are also 2 red clay courts in the New Rochelle Heights Historic area. .

Over the years, like many areas, some of the homes were well maintained, others not, and with the housing bubble, buyers were purchasing those homes  requiring renovation as they were (and still are) offering great value. The area also represented the different Elementary Schools in the city too, and so appraisals were not as straighforward since the appraisal would be based from first, the elementary school,  obviously size and style of the home, and then by zip code and then the comparable homes must be within a one mile radius. Homes cannot be renovated unless approved by the Historic Board, and there are certain guidelines such as no fences allowed, certain window requirements, etc. Many agents  (as well as appraisers) would look no further than the Historic area for comparable sales, and this ultimately could perhaps lessen the price of a home which should not be the case.viewer_84

So, fast forward to 2015 and within this glorious area,  there are homes that not renovated selling for say $400,000, and other homes that are somewhat renovated and are selling say for $600,000,  or $650,000 and so forth. Some homes are vacant and boarded up. How does one price a home there?

I had the privilege recently of representing a seller who not only was the third owner of the house (which was built in 1905), had lived there for nearly 50 years, and had the original keys for the majority of the doors, but had renovated the home beautifully, and had also obtained the certificate of occupancy for each renovation! This home stood apart from other homes in the same area, and I was concerned that the appraiser,  in perhaps not knowing the area, might not be able to appraise the home properly. Therefore, I advised the owner to have an appraisal by a local appraiser so we could have it on hand for the buyers’ bank appraiser when that time arose, and so she would also have an idea of what the home was worth. She was older, and I did not want her to have any sleepless nights!

58HamiltonAve_print_102We also had another issue. If homes were listed between $400,000 and $750,000 – at what price could we list this beautiful 8 bedroom home at?  I advised my client to introduce it to the market under One Million. The photos spoke for themselves,  I had floor plans, a personalized web site,  and together with the price being attractive, the home would stand out against other similarly sized and priced homes, would attract the buyers,  and the market would then speak for itself.  I realized that like some out of locale appraisers, there are also some out of town real estate agents who would question the pricing in looking at past solds (I had the two highest priced sales since 2006 in the area-  one was as the listing agent for $929,000 with multiple bids, and the other was for $985,000 receiving 9 bids and I had represented the buyer). Some agents/buyers thought the home would sell for far less. I had faith.

My owner also valued her privacy, and did not want a ‘for sale’ on the property  nor did she want public open houses which are typical ways to both introduce a home for sale and to market a home to buyers.  Oh my! I introduced the home to the market by serving luncheon to the agents  ( Finger Sandwiches, Perrier and Fruit),  followed up a week later with my serving Champagne, smoked salmon, cucumber & dill salad and more fruit to the agents! My goal was to garner as much excitement as I could within the limitations offered.  My marketing strategy worked! We received 8 bids within 2 weeks, and ultimately closed at $1,125,000 – a new record high for the area.

SO, when selling a home in a specialized area, call someone who will market your home to it’s fullest, and produce a great outcome. 

New Rochelle is great!

About Gay E. Rosen

Gay E. Rosen is a Top Realtor in the Larchmont and New Rochelle (Lower Westchester) area. She is diligent, caring, driven and thorough (with a sense of humor).Utilize her expertise. Call her!
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