The vast majority of homes on the market are clones. Architects and neighborhood developers choose a handful of floorplans and designs that work and look good together then use them over and over again. Over time they may become individual as homeowners make small improvements each year but they are still essentially the same. Pricing them is easy because appraisers can simply compare the effective prices of nearby similar homes in similar conditions, even estimating the value of similar minor upgrades. However, some homes are truly unique.
Homes built like geodesic domes, homes made out of renovated non-residential structures, or homes hand-built by a quirky homeowner to be unlike anything seen in a cookie-cutter neighborhood are amazing and often sell for far more than predictable homes of similar size and age. But their priceless personality also makes them incredibly hard to appraise, finance, or find a perfect new owner who will appreciate all its quirks. If you have a unique listing, selling your home will be more complicated but also potentially a lot more fun.
Do You Have a Unique Listing?
It’s not hard to tell if you have a unique listing. Simply ask yourself “Are other homes like mine?” If you couldn’t find your home design, color scheme, floor plan, or appearance in a normal urban, suburban, or rural neighborhood, you likely have a unique listing. If your home was once an old firehouse, post office, water tower, or missile silo, it is unique. If your home was hand-built according to some unusual internal style of the builder, it is likely unique. If the home is modeled to look like something other than a home, it is absolutely unique. And this is fantastic. In the 7 billion people out there, undoubtedly there are several thousand that would adore living in your unique listing. The trick is finding them.
Most home buyers want a typical, “normal”, house which means selling a unique listing is just a touch more challenging than usual. To get the full value for your unique listing, you’ll need to find one of those quirky people whose desire for a house packed with personality matches the home you have to offer.
Working With a Capable Agent
The first step is to find an agent who is ready to do what it takes to sell your unique listing. Some agents are great at moving standard houses fast. Finding buyers for standard homes is what most of the industry is about but some real estate agents love unique homes as much as you and your future buyers do. And they are ready to put in the effort and creativity it will take to locate those buyers through publicity, staging, and niche marketing to find the perfect unique buyer for your unique listing.
Don’t be afraid to interview a few agents before choosing. Look for one that is truly delighted with your home and is as excited about researching its quirks and finding a buyer as you are about seeing the home go to someone who will appreciate its personality. If an agent seems nervous or uncomfortable, find someone who isn’t.
Make a Splash
The next step is to get the word out. Because your unique listing needs someone very special as its new owner, the usual channels may not be able to reach them. They might live in another state or might not even be looking because they don’t realize a potential dream home is now on the market. This means that the farther you can spread the word about your listing, the better. Host events, get into the news, and post the listing far and wide on the internet. That said, don’t neglect the standard channels because almost everyone who is just beginning to consider buying new homes checks popular online platforms like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com.
Market to Your Niche
Finally, know your niche. Every type of unique home inevitably falls into one of the more unusual housing markets, some of which no one has heard of. There are whole communities that are enthusiastic about dome houses, others who love renovated historical buildings, and others who are crazy about anything hand-built and off-grid. Even if you didn’t know you were part of a housing niche, find where like-minded homeowners gather and market your unique listing in these communities.
Learn More About Selling a Unique Listing
For more helpful tips, guidance, or personal assistance finding a buyer and getting a great price for your unique listing, contact us today!