Profile picture for fcolliga

Tips/Suggestions to Sell House Near Busy Street???

Our house (North Seattle suburbs) is the first one as you turn off the main road into our development. So, we are on the corner of the access road, which has become a fairly busy thoroughfare over the last 5 years. The builder did some smart things to mitigate traffic noise, such as planting tall evergreens along the main road, putting no windows on the road side of the house, and double insulating the wall that faces the road.

 

Nevertheless, the single obstacle to getting anyone interested in our home is the close proximity to the access road. Everyone tells us the same thing -- "lovely home, beautiful inside, spacious, nice floor plan, large lot, but we can't get past the lot being so close to the busy road." It's driving me nuts.

Maybe people think there will be too much traffic noise inside the house, which there really isn't. The house is surprisingly quiet inside. Or, maybe parents with smaller children are afraid their kids will run out into the road -- overlooking the very large and fully fenced backyard to keep the kids and dogs safe. I just don't know.

My question is, especially for the agents out there, what selling strategies can we employ to overcome this issue with prospective buyers? Can anyone offer us some good tips or suggestions to help? Is our only option to keep slashing the price until someone will buy it because it is too good a deal? Or, is that just a self-defeating effort? Perhaps I am just dealing with a much smaller pool of prospective buyers, and I simply have to wait for that one person (single or a couple with no kids) to come along who is not bothered by the location? Any thoughts or suggestions would be most welcome.

Thanks,

Frank

P.S. If you're interested, you can see the house here: http://www.bothell-3007-204th.com

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January 17 2008 - US
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Replies (34)

Unfortunately, a busy road is an emotional "roadblock" (sorry, pardon pun) that is one of the hardest to overcome.  If you really cannot hear the traffic inside, you could say to people, "We just love this peaceful neighborhood - just listen to how quiet and relaxing it is!," then pause to let them (force them!) to listen and agree.  If it's not too noisy outside, you could put a drippy, splashy fountain in your front courtyard/yard, then chat with them on the porch - they'd notice the fountain, but not necessarily the traffic.  If you really can hear the noise loudly in the back yard and somewhat in the house, it's a real problem.  We have a listing that's two fairways' width from a medium-busy street, and nobody wants that house for that reason.

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January 18 2008
Profile picture for Coniston

Perhaps I am just dealing with a much smaller pool of prospective buyers

 

I think you're right - there are people who won't mind the road so much but you just have to get them in the door.  I once lived near the main airport in Minneapolis - hundreds of flights every day.  Home sellers had to live with the fact that noise was a detriment to their property, but there were home buyers out there who could deal with it.

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January 19 2008

fcolliga,

 

From the aerial map it looks like you are several houses back from the busy intersection. And the house and yard look really lovely. Maybe a small fountain in the front would distract from any sounds of traffic. Otherwise it seems that you will just have to wait it out until the right buyer comes along. Check with your agent and make certain that you are priced aggressively if you really need to sell right now.

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January 19 2008

While your location may not be in high demand from the buyer public, you can sell any house in any market. It ALWAYS gets down to price to perceived value.

Remember-you once fell in love with your home, and bought it. Another buyer will too. You have received some good ideas in ways to mitigate the noise;ie fountain.

Best of luck to you!

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January 19 2008
Profile picture for fcolliga

Thanks for the comments. I appreciate the feedback. As for the aerial maps, the underlying Navteq maps that drive most online mapping sites (Google, Yahoo, etc.) are inaccurate for my lot and do not show the correct location -- it is actually right at the corner of the two roads, approximately 40 feet (easements and side yard) from the road.  Because of this, putting a fountain in either the front or back yard won't put much of a dent in the outside noise.

 

I guess my hunch is right, I just have to be patient until the "right" buyer shows up. I just have a smaller pool of "right" buyers than most sellers. We'll be dropping the price another $20k next Friday in the hopes of driving in more lookers. Wish me luck!

 

Thanks again,

Frank

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January 19 2008
Profile picture for 2 Big 2 Fail

I have a house on a busy street and here is a simple tip: ALWAYS close all of the windows and doors before a showing.  Lock them so that the buyers can't open it to hear the noise.

 

Good luck!

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January 19 2008

This is tough but…your home should be priced less than other homes in your comp area that are not on a busy intersection. Someone will buy your home because it is more home than they could get on “a road less traveled”

Noise did not concern me as much as the safety of my dogs and cats and for many it will be their children (Not that I don’t adore my daughter as much as my pets but she was 14 the last time I bought ;)

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January 19 2008

It needs to be priced alot less than the comps. Personally, I like peace and quiet, and letting my dogs roam out the front door to greet people, so I still wouldn't be interested. Cities have a nasty habit of widening busy roads, and traffic gets worse over time, so I would advise against it almost by instinct for buyers, so you need to price so much less it overcomes those objections.

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January 19 2008

We sold a house in the middle of town on the busy main  drag in town. It was a awesome 3 story 3000 sq ft. 1936 perfect condititon craftsmen home.

One of the nicer homes in the town much nicer then most of the other homes for sale at that time. But, for us we had to price it about about 20k below the others just to snag a buyer due to the busy road issue.IMO Homes on private lots are much more desired and much easier to sell. It all comes down to price.

 

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January 20 2008
Profile picture for caballosnegros

How about a fence for those with kids and pets that are nervous? A 6" stockade fence may do the trick- don't know if that is feasible, but it's a thought, it would be the first thing I would do...

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January 20 2008
Profile picture for fcolliga

Thanks again for the comments.  FWIW... entire rear and side yards are completely fenced, and the yards taken as a whole are fairly large -- lots of room for kids or dogs. Fencing the front is not possible because of HOA restrictions. Also, we are the lowest price per square foot in our neighborhood. Beginning Friday, we will also be the absolute lowest price, after another 20k price drop.  Our house is 2250 sq ft on .21 acre lot and will be priced at 479,000. Other two houses are 1950 sq ft on much smaller lots, priced at 488,000 (but no busy street).

 

We're working it. Fortunately, we're still getting traffic at open houses and private showings. 6 groups came through the open house today and there was a private showing yesterday. Just have to find that one buyer who doesn't mind the road.

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January 20 2008
Profile picture for . . .

What I've seen for the "freeway housing" is large signs that say "if you lived here, you would be home by now".  Apparently that won't work for your development.

 

Are you allowed multiple yard sales?  If so, use the traffic to sell the yard sales to sale the house to cronic yard sale buffs that need the traffic.

 

Also, take noise dB readings and list the house as "very quiet" with back up data.

 

 

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January 21 2008
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You stated no fencing allowed in front; what about large hedge like plants?  What about landscaping so that there is a "view" from the front windows and from the street?

 

 

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January 21 2008
Profile picture for caballosnegros

Pasadean is right I think, address their concerns right on the listing to overcome their objections so they will look at it.

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January 21 2008
Profile picture for lucydjacobs

We sold a home with woods between us and a highway.

 

The way to do it is lower the price signficantly to a BUYER's viewpoint. You have to make it worth their while to buy that home in the neighborhood.  The difference in that family's monthly payments must be significant enough to make up for the fact that they get traffic buying your home as opposed to buying any other home in the neighborhood.

 

 Otherwise, the buyer will decide to "pay a little more" for peace and quiet and for easier resale and more equity growth.

 

Homes one street over from mine were listed for $240,000. Our home appraised for $185,000 and, for a quick sale, we listed it for $165,000and got a full-price. It took three months. Buyers dismissed our home at first because of traffic. Then they looked at other homes that cost $165k and ours beat them out in terms of space, hardwood floors and school district.  

 

Be the greatest house a buyer can get in that price range. That's how you do it. You don't get as much as your appraisal might suggest or the price your quieter neighbors will receive. But you sell quicker that way, which means less money you put into the mortage and upkeep of a home during that time. And you get out of housing limbo, and move on with life.

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January 21 2008
Profile picture for PJ Sassifras

I also sold a home with "noise" issues.  Lucy, julia and everyone else is right, you have to price below the comps to discount for the issue.  I don't agree with caba, though, do NOT call attention to it on the listing statement.  If people ask you about it you can list all the things the builder did to mitigate the issue, but don't start your conversation with a potential buyer (listing) with the negatives of your house.  Good luck to you! 

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January 21 2008
Profile picture for Ldoone

Really I was thinking of using an ad like this!

 

Beautiful Saint Pete Beach florida
2 bedrooms 2 bathrooms
1035 sq st

Tastefully simple.

Tastefully simple. http://www.postlets.com/rem/358729

Warnings
Owning a vacation home in paradise
Can cause relaxation symptoms if you have any of these symptoms

please immediately go to the nearest tiki bar!

sun tanned skin
inability to concentrate on work
easily distracted by bikini's
mesmerized by colorful sunsets
unable to resist taking off sandle's and sticking toes in sand

Is it a mansion (no) but it is comfortable
Is it really on an Island (yes)
Why is it less than other properties on Saint Pete Beach?
Because we face the street, and don't have a pool.
Can I rent it out?
Yes immediately...all the condo association asks is that you rent it long term, with a lease.

Those are always the questions they ask

Yikes this really isn't spam.....:( ....hangs head in shame

 

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January 21 2008
Profile picture for lucydjacobs

I'm an  impatient and cynical type.

 

I prefer ads that cut to the chase, such as saying that a condo is "priced lower than other properties on Saint Pete Beach" - but has everything to offer for the island lifestyle except a pool to clean."

 

As a female, the girls in bikinis and Tiki bars don't entice. I'm more of a scenery and an "all-you-can-eat" chocolate buffet next door" kind of girl!

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January 22 2008
Profile picture for boca33434

around here it seems a house siding a busy street sells for 10-15% less than the same house inside the subdivision. the discount would entice a buyer who wanted a more expensive subdivision than they can afford otherwise

 

the ad for the St. Pete beach is cute and original.  But as the person above suggested maybe not draw attention in the ad that it is on a busy road.

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January 22 2008

The reality is this is simply a deal breaker for many buyers altogether.  Pricing like many have said will be key,..but there is a large amount of buyers (myself included) that won't consider it regardless.  It's going to be a tough sell in this market.

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January 22 2008
Profile picture for lucydjacobs

It's possible to sell corner homes on intersections if , as boca said, they will get more house for the money than they could otherwise afford.

 

Price it on the low end of your subdivision/neighborhood, but on the high end of what a home would cost on the next price tier of homes below your own in size or quality.

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January 22 2008
Profile picture for Ldoone

Thanks guys. If you look at the zillow map...I am surrounded by higher priced properties.

 

http://www.zillow.com/search/RealEstateSearch.htm?dg=dg2&addrstrthood=8151+Blind+Pass+Rd+4&citystatezip=33706&GOButton=

 

I just need the right buyer.

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January 23 2008
Profile picture for fcolliga

"You stated no fencing allowed in front; what about large hedge like plants? What about landscaping so that there is a "view" from the front windows and from the street?"

 

As can be seen from the bird's eye image of our house, the side bordering the busy road is lines with tall evergreens, fence and shrub. It is not a quick and direct route to run out into the street. The plantings do help to reduce the noise a little bit. We could probably put in more plantings to further "cocoon" the house, but I'm not sure any more would make much of a difference.

 

Bird's eye mage as seen on Zillow.

 

I think the best strategy at this point for me is to price it low enough that people see it as a "value proposition" that allows them to get into a nicer neighborhood at a low price.  Houses the same size as mine had been selling in the $530,000 to $550,000 range. Right now there are two that are 300 square feet smaller, selling for 489,000. They have each had two or three price reductions and have not budged on price for over two months now. There is another that is 300 sq ft larger that is pruced at $550,000.  Our new price is $479,900. I might have another $10k-15k reduction left in me, but I have the think seriously about it.

 

Thanks again guys.

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January 23 2008
Profile picture for lucydjacobs

Hi! Consider the fountain that's inexpensive (dig a hole, line with a liner from a home store, get one that shoots up for maximum noise) and surround with flagstone like rocks or whatever stones complement the home.

 

The trick is effective in that, rather than drown out noise, it makes traffic noise sound like water noise. People like water noise. Freeway becomes rushing river or crashing waves. Except when a rescue vehicle goes by :)

 

Good luck. We sold ours. You will sell too.

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January 25 2008
Profile picture for BigBadHomeSale.com

fcolliga,

Here's how I handled it when I sold my house.

 

http://bigbadhomesale.mpwr.tv/news/?p=4

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January 25 2008
Profile picture for dinydeek1

fcolliga,

 

We actually have been watching your house closely- our Realtor added your house to our comps mostly because of the noise factor....

 

We are literally on the freeway- however, it has been pointed out that we bought- so someone will too-

 

You and your realtor are doing a great job marketing your home- everywhere I go online looking for comps, your house pops up!

 

We won't be going on the market for a few more months- do let us know how much the noise effects things- I think you will be fine.

 

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January 25 2008
Profile picture for ericperryman

Just an idea, try targeting small business people.  A busy street can be a good thing if they can put out a small sign saying accountant, lawyer, etc.

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January 28 2008
Profile picture for fcolliga

BigBadHomeSale:  I like your style. It may come to that eventualy. For now, I'm just hanging in there...waiting for the right buyer. At least we are still getting good traffic flow:  5 to 6 groups at each open house this month (every Sunday in Jan), plus 1 or 2 private showings.

 

dinydeek:  So you're the one who's been viewing the websites and pix ;) It's nice to know the online stuff is being seen.

 

ericperryman: It's a great thought. We actually had one interested party who wanted to run a daycare and was asking about that. HOA CC&Rs prohibit any signage other than a house for sale or security service sign.

 

 

I greatly appreciate all the feedback and the ideas. If we are still on the market in April, I guess I'll have to seriously consider the fountain idea -- one for the front and one for the back.

 

 

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January 29 2008
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Does that mean the HOA does not allow ANY yard sales?

 

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January 30 2008
Profile picture for dinydeek1

Makes me hopeful that the traffic will continue- and actually turn into buyers :-) 

 

Word on the street says there definitely has been a pick up in the last couple of weeks- the buyers are unable to hold out much longer-

 

The more yours sells for, the better my comps!

 

Fingers crossed

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January 30 2008
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