Despite the pandemic wreaking havoc across almost every conceivable industry throughout 2020, the housing market continued to boom. The year nobody wants to remember was actually a record-breaking year for real estate agents, with this trend predicted to continue for 2021.
Standing out as a real estate agent, especially in competitive locations, is no easy feat. One of the ways you can do this is by becoming a historic homes specialist.
Historic Homes Housing Market
Historic homes are big business for the right realtor. Look at the hottest areas for real estate in the US, such as San Francisco, Boston, and Manhattan, and you’ll see they all have one thing in common… historic homes dominate them.
The statistics back up our point. A 2019 study by the National Association of Realtors revealed 86% of buyers purchased a previously owned home, as opposed to brand new. Plus, 21% of buyers who bought a previously owned home said it was because the property had more charm and character.
Suffice to say, tapping into this market can benefit realtors. But it’s not as simple as selling more modern properties.
Historic homes come with their own unique quirks. You can think of it like selling a piece of art. There are no two quite the same, and your marketing strategy needs to reflect that.
Use our top tips for how to market historic homes for sale.
Location Still Matters
One of the best selling points of historic homes is often their location. They’re usually in downtown areas. In other words, in places that are out of many buyers’ price range.
Creating and establishing communities is something new developments have struggled with, but historic homes are generally located in established neighborhoods. Because of this, these neighborhoods come with more inclusive communities with reputable amenities, schools, and more. All these are incredible selling points for a historic property… so shout about it!
Even further afield from downtown areas, historic homes can still compete.
Needing to be in the hustle and bustle of the city became less important in 2020. The majority of white-collar workers went remote and looking at housing market trends; they’ve no plans to go back to the office.
Historic homes in these areas can offer larger spaces for families in locations they still may otherwise be unable to afford to live in.
Our point? Location is still king when it comes to real estate. Whether old or new.
Ensure you know everything there is to know about the neighborhood of the property you’re selling so you can tell potential buyers just how great it is.
Though we don’t buy into many mantras as foolproof, the saying ‘they don’t build them like they used to’ holds some real weight.
Historic homes come with traditional craftsmanship that you don’t see in new builds. Higher ceilings, beautiful hardwood floors, and ornate cornices and coverings are all features you’ll be hard-pressed to find in a new build.
Put your best features forward. By which we mean, get high-quality photos of features to use on online housing listings.
Of course, old isn’t always best. If you’re lucky, previous owners will have made the necessary historic home renovations to the right rooms, such as bathrooms and kitchens. These more modern features will attract younger buyers who don’t have the experience, funds, or desire to renovate themselves.
Old meets new is the luxurious sweet spot millennials, and gen x buyers are looking for. Akin to buying designer jeans that come with rips and fades, modern historical remains in vogue. If your property has it, flaunt it.
Previously owned properties come with problems, especially old historic homes for sale. Your best tool here is honesty, combined with knowledge. Avoid surprises down the line with potential buyers.
Historic home restorations and renovations can be a daunting prospect, especially to younger buyers. It’s your job to soothe their worries.
This means knowing everything there is to know about the property. What renovations have already been done? What will need doing in the short and long term?
On top of this, you’ll also need to know about any renovation restrictions placed on a historic house. Local ordinances will vary wildly for these. But potential buyers will be reassured if you can inform them of local ordinance processes, timeframes, and costs.
Arm Yourself With Information
Like the above, the more information you have, the more potential buyers will likely trust and proceed with you.
So get ready to rattle off numbers. As a minimum, the year built and the years of any additions or alterations, along with any work guarantees.
Additionally, knowing the average running costs of the house will help. Average utility costs, property taxes, and insurance figures will reassure buyers that they’re not moving into the drafty stereotype many view historic homes as.
For insurance, build a relationship with a broker or agent to recommend who can give exact quotes to potential buyers.
If Walls Could Talk
If walls could talk, who knows what stories a historic home could tell. So find them out. Every historic home has a unique story to tell potential buyers.
The more you know about the history of the home you’re selling, the more you’ll increase its appeal to potential buyers.
Many real estate agents create unique, dedicated websites to showcase the property for particularly quirky or notable homes. This includes beautiful imagery, of course – and a detailed account of the property’s backstory – bonus points for scandals, secret rooms, and celebrity links.
You can find out a home’s history in various ways, most obviously from the sellers, property records, census data, and newspaper archives. You can also get in touch with a local historical society that might be able to help you track down old photos of the property to showcase.
As with all real estate, you’ll still need to market your historic homes digitally to attract potential buyers. This involves coming up with a dedicated marketing strategy for your property. We’ve got loads of realtor marketing tips on our blog for all kinds of homes.
Need more local marketing tips? Check out The Essential Marketing Guide for Real Estate Professionals