Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Is the "Busy Road Factor" Affecting the Sale of Your Listing?

As a Realtor, I am contacted by people on a daily basis to do market analyses on their homes. I work hard to get the price right as it is imperative in a Buyer's market to NOT be overpriced. I check the comparative homes sold in the past 3-4 months and add and subtract for differences in each particular home. But every once in a while there are homes that are affected by what I call the "busy road factor". These are aberrations that are unique to the property but will dramatically reduce the number of buyers interested in a property.

My daily travels as a real estate agent in and around Anoka County, take me down the same major county roads day after day. Many residential areas adjacent to these well-traveled roads. County roads are wonderful short cuts; posted 55mph and they crisscross the communities of Ham Lake, Lino Lakes, Forest Lake and Columbus.

Of course I notice several for sale signs on these roads as they have become a part of the landscape that doesn't change as quickly as it had in the past. First a new sign goes up. And then the sign changes on the same house when they try a new agent...again and again. I know this is not just the buyer's market, though that does affect the situation. No, these homes on well traveled roads are affected drastically by "the busy road factor". It is a lethal combination with the buyers' market for a sale of residential home. You are literally dead in the water before the house is listed if the pricing does not reflect the road.

Although I have nicknamed the phenomena, the "Busy Road Factor", I have come up with the acronym BaRF for short. It should be obvious why I came up with the name:

It is how most sellers feel when the BaRF is factored into their market analysis.

Location, Location Location! It is the real estate mantra and if your location is on a busy road, you cannot change it. But you can change the price. In order to sell, it is necessary to price your home drastically lower than all other homes on the market with similar features (but without BaRF) to attract buyers.

BaRF does not only affect properties on busy roads! There are other uncontrollable situations that are very tough sells in a hot sellers' market and next to impossible in a buyers' market. These include properties which are next to or near the following:
  • Cemeteries

  • Industrial Parks

  • Hugh Power lines

  • Gas Pipelines

  • Freeways

  • Landfills

  • Airports

  • Prisions

  • Flood plains

  • Train Tracks

  • Open Lot that is for sale for undetermined new development.

So how can you deal with BaRF and get the house SOLD?
  1. Be Realistic. Don't ignore the elephant in the room and price the home as if the BaRF doesn't exist!
  2. Work with a Professional Realtor. An experienced professional real estate agent can assist you in pricing your home correctly factoring in all adverse conditions.
  3. Be Ready to Negotiate. If a buyer comes along, don't pass on a low offer. Counter and try to reach terms that are acceptable for both parties.
  4. Be Patient. In most cases, a property affected by BaRF, will required twice the market time compared to the average home.

**Photo Compliments of Garret Izumi from his Surreal Real Estate photography series.

If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.
Copyright 2007