Listing a Georgia Home with Irreconcilable Defects

on 03 December 2014

You have a home that backs up to high-tension power lines or a busy highway.  Maybe it’s sitting in a flood plain or has some other physical defect that is not economically reconcilable.  What can you do to sell the property?

The first step is for the homeowner to fully acknowledge what the product is that they are offering to the marketplace.  Buyers are easily spooked by such things and once they go negative on you, you can never get them back, no matter what you offer.  So you have to acknowledge the defect and make appropriate dispensation for it at the time of listing.  Don’t wait until the market has been tested.  You want a quick sale.  The longer your property sits on the market not selling the more convincing it is to prospective buyers that their assumption is correct.  They might think:  “Nobody else wants to buy this house.  What do they know that I don’t know?  If I buy it will I ever be able to resell it?”  You have to address this objection thoroughly and up front, and the price simply has to be more than competitive!

The next step is to be generous about preparing the property for showing.  Pull out the stops.  The house needs to be such a great offering that no buyer could possibly turn it down.  Make it show like a model home. 

In your marketing materials, express to prospective buyers why you bought.  What was it about this house that sold you?  It might just sell to somebody else for that same reason!  Prominently promote that idea.

The final step is to disclose the defect right up front.  Try to find the advantages and play down the disadvantages.  Both of these are invariably available.  Thoughtfully consider these.  Promote the advantages in your marketing flyer and other marketing systems.

One final point:  Hopefully the sellers got a big concession when they bought.  If not, they cannot realistically expect to recover from that fatal mistake on resale.  It is unlikely that another buyer will duplicate their mistake.  This is a hard pill to swallow but it must be done.  Denying the inevitable will only become more costly to the sellers!  And if sales agents take on the listing without being both brutally honest as well as convincing about the detrimental impact of the defect on the selling potential, the agent will inevitably eat the costs in both time spent and money invested in an unsuccessful marketing process.

​Terri Clair
Cumming, Georgia
3 Options Realty, CRMC®  
555 Sun Valley Drive STE H3
Roswell, GA  30076
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It doesn't matter where you live in Georgia, whether it be Roswell, Milton, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Woodstock or any other municipality, these same thoughts apply.