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    A Tale of Two Houses

    A Tale of Two Houses

    We once had two houses for sale in the same area of our town. They both had frontage of the same body of water, practically facing each other from opposite shores. Their asking prices at around $1 million were virtually the same, as were their age and condition. They both needed about the same amount of work including updates to the kitchen, baths, plumbing and heating system, larger or newer windows, and expansion of their decks that gave such great views of the shoreline. But while the extent and cost of the work that was required for each property was virtually the same at several hundred thousand dollars, it appeared that one property was loved by its owner; the other looked neglected.

    You’ve probably heard about the importance of “staging” or preparing a property for sale. In the case of these two properties, all the staging in the world wouldn’t overcome the fact that both needed a tremendous amount of work.

    What became clear to me during the time these properties were on the market was that buyers rejected the house that needed the work because of simply did not look loved. The other house, while in need of updating at the same dollar level as the neglected house, had been perfectly maintained. In other words, loved. Everything was spotless, everything was shipshape, resulting in noticeable expressions of contentment and well-being on the faces of potential buyers as they walked through the front door.

    The loved house sold after forty-five days on the market. The other remained on the market for more than a year.

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