Tips for selling a House an a Bad Neighborhood

While your home’s neighborhood may not be in demand, there’s bound to be a buyer for every property. Play up your area’s inherent charms, while drawing attention away from its lesser qualities to help your home find its new owner.

That old location, location, location adage is all well and good when you’re selling in a desirable locale, but factors like living in a lesser school district, near train tracks or on a busy street can make selling feel untenable. But don’t despair, here are a few ways to make the most of your situation.

Price Accordingly

The question you should be asking yourself: what are houses selling for in my neighborhood? Appeal to the starter-home buyer with a competitive price that enables their entry into the real estate market. When marketing your home towards first-time homebuyers or the tighter-budgeted, avoid overspending on renovations to up the value of your home. Doing so might add up to a losing game should your home go for under asking from a bargain seeker. Save your pennies so your buyer can do the same.

If you’ve already spent time and money renovating the property, make the high points of your home the focus. For the right buyer, a turnkey home is more valuable than a prime zip code. Call out that renovated kitchen, spa bathroom and refinished hardwood floors high up in the copy of the listing to highlight the inherent value of your home.

Play To Your Audience

Just because yours isn’t in a blue-chip neighborhood, doesn’t mean that the area doesn’t have its charms. A neighborhood with amenities like grocery stores, shopping malls and restaurants with a high Walk Score is highly attractive to a buyer who prefers hustle-bustle over peace and quiet.

One person’s drawback – such as proximity to a school – may well be another’s positive, in this case, for a family with small children. Alternatively, a neighborhood with a lower-ranking school district, and perhaps proportionally lower property taxes, would be a boon for a childfree buyer. A nearby railroad track means noise to one buyer, and proximity to public transportation to another. Whatever the character of your neighborhood, play to its strengths, rather than attempting to cover up its weaknesses.

Enhance The Experience

Guide prospective buyers with step-by-step directions to your home that take them along the most desirable route: the one with the quaint lawns and coffee shop as opposed to the one with overgrown yards or otherwise unseemly elements. Up the good vibes even further by staging the interior to help prospective buyers fall in love at first sight.

Amping up your own property’s curb appeal (and paying to clean up your neighbor’s yard, if necessary) will help add to buyers’ perceptions of the place. (Read: How to Attract More Buyers by Increasing Curb Appeal.)

Even if your home isn’t likely to inspire bidding wars, there are still buyers in the market for exactly what you’ve got. Set a reasonable price, temper your expectations and be willing to be flexible as you wait for the right buyer to come along.