Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How the "Busy Road Factor" Affects the Sale of Your Home

Busy Road Factor Selling a Minnesota Home

As a REALTOR®, people across the north and east Minneapolis/St Paul metro area  contact me to provide comparative market analyses on their homes. I work hard to get the price right whether it is for a single family home, a townhome, an acreage estate or a lakeshore getaway. Getting the price right is imperative in this changed real estate market. I use a system to 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 situations that are unique to the property but will dramatically affect the number of interested buyers.

My daily travels as an Anoka & Washington County real estate agent take me along many of the same major roads day after day.  County roads are wonderful short cuts through the north and east metro as most are posted 55mph and they crisscross the communities of Ham Lake, Lino Lakes, Forest Lake, Columbus and White Bear Lake. There are many residential developments adjacent to these well-traveled roads.

Of course I notice several for sale signs along these roads as they have become a part of the landscape that doesn't change as quickly as it had in the past. Often a sign goes up and then 6 months or a year later the sign is switched out on the same house when they try a new real estate agent...again and again. In fact there is one home I have watched over the past 3 years switch out every six months to a new broker. I think they are on their sixth agent with no sale yet. I is not just the buyer's market causing this situation. This home and other properties like it located on well traveled roads are affected by "the busy road factor". It is a lethal combination with the buyers' market for a sale of residential home. A home seller is literally dead in the water before the house is listed if they do not account for the negative impact the road will have on their sale price.

"Location, Location Location" is the real estate mantra. If your home is located 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 significantly lower than all other homes on the market with similar features  to attract buyers.

This phenomena does not only affect properties on busy roads! There are other undesirable location situations that are very tough sells when the market is good but become next to impossible when there are many homes for the buyers to select from.  These unwanted locations include properties which are next to or near the following:

  • Cemeteries
  • Industrial Parks
  • Huge Power Lines/Transformers
  • Gas Pipelines
  • Landfills
  • Airports
  • Prisons
  • Flood plains
  • Train Tracks 
  • Shopping centers 
  • Gas Stations
  • Open Land either for sale or not that has undetermined development potential
  • Gun ranges 
  • Auto Salvage Yards and other disposal businesses
So how can you deal with the Busy Road Factor and get the house SOLD?
  1. Be Realistic. Don't ignore the elephant in the room. Set your price reflecting the undesirable location
  2. Best Foot Forward Make sure everything else regarding your home is a positive. All repairs done, stage the home and market its unique positive features. 
  3. Work with a Professional REALTOR® An experienced professional real estate agent can assist you in pricing your home correctly factoring in all adverse conditions.
  4. Be Ready to Negotiate. When buyers submit a purchase agreement for review, don't pass on a low offer. Counter and try to reach terms that are acceptable for both parties.
  5. Be Patient. In most cases, a property affected by the Busy Road Factor, will required twice the market time compared to the average home.


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