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4 Things People Look for in Real Estate Location

By Jamie Richardson | February 2, 2018

Every real estate professional is aware that location is the most important factor in the value of a property. After all, the neighborhood and value of the surrounding homes are usually the defining factor in pricing a home. Most buyers value a safe, well-maintained neighborhood with good schools. But every buyer is unique. If you're trying to sell a property that's not in a prime location, there are several ways you can slant your approach to appeal to different types of buyers.

Walkable Neighborhoods
By suburban standards, the average urban property has some serious drawbacks. Yards are small, parking can be an issue, and the curb appeal may be low. Agents who are used to selling expansive homes on quiet cul-de-sacs may think an urban home will be hard to sell, but the opposite is often true.
People love urban locations if the neighborhood is highly walkable. They may be health conscious and want to hit their fitness tracker's step goal, can actually lengthen your life expectancy. They may be environmentally conscious and trying to reduce their carbon footprint. It may even suit their identities better to be urban dwellers. In any case, if you can stress the walk score of an urban home, buyers will line up to look at it.

Steady Stream of Tenants
Properties that are close to universities or large employers can be highly desirable, even if the surrounding neighborhood is a little past its prime. Employees may be interested, but your best market for these properties is often landlords. Renters care less about property values than owners, so it's easy for a landlord to rent a convenient location even in a declining neighborhood. Stress the steady flow of students or employees who will be relocating and will want to have such a convenient location. Landlords love the idea of a rental property that won't sit empty for months on end.

The home you want to sell may not be in the most desirable area, but someone looking for a bargain might consider it if you can show them that the location will be convenient for them. You can use phrases like "less than 30 minutes from downtown," "easy highway access," or "lots of amenities in the surrounding areas" to highlight whatever conveniences the home offers.

Future Value
There is an ebb and flow to the value of most established neighborhoods. A new subdivision is highly desirable, years later it looks dated, eventually it's just retro enough to appeal to a certain artsy crowd, and someday it will be historic. Some of the trendiest urban neighborhoods have been gentrified and resurrected from incredible decline. If the neighborhood has even a glimmer of hope, then there's a chance a highly risk-tolerant investor will be willing to take a chance on it.

The home you're selling may not have a "good location" by the standard measure, but that doesn't mean a buyer won't think the location is perfect. Your job is to anticipate what that person is looking for and use language that will target that buyer.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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