I recently spent time with a great relocation family looking at horse property in McHenry County. Our deal is not yet closed but is firmly heading in that direction. This was the second visit to the area to look at property and I already have a sense of what they need. As Realtors we never know exactly what will cause any buyer to pull the trigger and announce that a property is the one they want. I always let my clients decide which properties they want to see.
On this visit the buyers did some investigating of their own a few days prior and drove around the county looking at the location and exterior presentation of some of the horse properties on their list. That instantly shrunk the list down from 16 or so to around 11. For them it was well worth the time spent, no point looking at homes that have little appeal.
Two days later we had 2 days of afternoon showings scheduled. Six properties on day one, five on day two and if we could squeeze it in, we’ll visit an open house on Sunday as on Monday the owners would be absent and not willing to let us in.
Each house and lot broadly matched the buyers needs. On day one we visited house number six. From the moment we drove up the newly black topped driveway to viewing the immaculately cared for home and 5 acres of groomed landscaping, it was clear this house was going to be a winner. Of course you might think it had everything on the wish list. Not so. It’s missing a barn for the horses and there are no fenced paddocks. For these buyers that is going to be a costly addition after move in.
So why would buyers pick a home that does not have everything they need?
Curb appeal and presentation. A new blacktop on the driveway speaks volumes about care of a property. First impressions count, big time. A tour of the home which provided the needed accommodation was clean and ready for visitors. Not cluttered with too much furniture, not overloaded with family photos, no stains on the carpet. Sticky notes letting us know how to unlock sliding doors so we could experience the deck. Put together it all amounted to an extremely well presented property. As we toured the perimeter of the acreage the grass was well groomed, the trees were all alive, the shed was open for us to look and very tidely kept.
Maybe you are thinking the property has all upgraded bathrooms and a new kitchen. You know the things we now help sell houses! The answer is no it does not.
There really was nothing we could say was in need of work or relacement, at least to the naked eye. As it turned out the home inspection rubber stamped the fact that the property had been very well cared for and maintained. A few minor issues are being taken care of by the sellers.
The Other Properties
Sorry, this time you did not get a sale, your competition did. In fact your competition was not on the market for very long. You see while you have been waiting for a buyer, these sellers came to market and sold in 11 days. Their curb appeal started with a new driveway and continued to the house and lot. The buyers rejected 6 other homes including the open house and canceled the showings for the following day. That was how strong they felt about buying the home they chose.
If you want to sell in a country suburban area understand that you’ve got a fair amount of competition. It’s not quite the same as buyers choosing in a town or neighborhood. These types of buyers are usually looking for something specific and will look in a much wider area of real estate. You need to stand head and shoulders above the crowd. The other homes, well they did not do that.
Curb Appeal – Presentation – Priced Right – 11 Days – SOLD!
McHenry County Horse Property on Acreage – 6 Month Market Report
In the last 6 months there have been 60 sales of homes on 5 plus acres, priced under $500,000. The average marketing time for these sales was 260 days. Your competing listings, well there are 103 of them. So before you list your property for sale, take a look at your curb appeal and presentation. It’s not just price that will get you the sale. You need more than good numbers.