yard borders shopping -- advantage or no?

deanie1February 6, 2010

I am in the process of interviewing realtors to sell our house and they just aren't sure what affect the shopping center next to our yard will have. Problem is, in order to walk to it you have to climb a hill. Once you are up the hill, you have a very short, but not easy, walk along a fence to a gate. Open the gate and you are in a giant shopping center (Target, and about a million other stores and restaurants. One can avoid the hill altogether if you cut through our neighbor's yard). It's about a three-minute walk, if that.

So I am wondering if I should even mention in the listing walking distance to shopping. It's easy for me to walk, but would be difficult for an older person due to the hill. Also, it's not obvious just looking from our yard that there is a path to the shopping center because it's through some trees. So should I even mention anything about the shopping. Play it up? Hope they don't notice how close we are? Would you consider it a good selling point? Thanks everyone. You always come through for me.

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If you live in an urban area where people primarily walk to shopping and parking is at a premium then being in close proximity to shopping is a selling point. However, if you're in a suburban location where the majority of people use cars as their main form of transportation then being less then a 3 minute walk from shopping would be a deterrent to me. The noise and the traffic would be turn offs and I personally wouldn't play up the closeness to shopping.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 5:55PM
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We are in a suburban location where everything is so spread out no one can walk to anything. Everyone takes cars everywhere. Also, surprisingly, the shopping center is pretty quiet. I wish I could put up a big sign that says "Don't worry about this shopping center --it's quiet and you'll love it!"

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 6:48PM
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The saving grace for all of us who have ever bought a home, or sold one is that we each have different levels of tolerance for some things, priorities for others. What one person thinks of as a disadvantage, another not only won't mind it, but might look at it as a positive.

If a shopping center ever found its way to within ten miles of me, I'd pack up and move. I would be immediately turned off by any mention of proximity to shopping. I doubt if a reassurance that they're quiet would help, either. But, I find shopping right in line behind having a root canal. ;-)

Frankly, I would just expound on the virtues of the house. People who are interested enough to want to come see it, shall find out quickly enough it's close to a shopping center. If they aren't particularly fond of that, your house might be so inviting to them, they'd overlook that fact.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 7:02PM
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I would play it up as an advantage, but perhaps stating that it is "convenient" to shopping or something along those lines. People who like the idea of being so close will be attracted to the home. Those that will hate it aren't going to be fooled when they drive past the shopping center to get to your house. Fence sitters might be swayed by the positive tone, because they're gonna see how close it is on the map before they ever come out.

If you home is also handicapped accessible or nearly so, being so close to shopping could be a big draw.

If you do decide to market it as a positive, be sure your listing agent is completely on board.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 7:08PM
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The house we are currently in sits next door to a car dealership. It stated so on the agents listing sheet. When I read that tidbit it was a turnoff to me. I had in my mind cars going in and out, horns tooting and the ugly look of such a place in my mind. I strongly resisted going to see the place. As it turn out the only time you can see the dealership is in the winter and then it's not all that visible.
Despite the dealership I feel in love with the house. It would have been better for the seller if they had left the info about the dealership off the listing sheet. I'm sure more folks would have at the least gone to see the place BEFORE they made the judgment. Had this not been one of the last four houses our agent had to show us and had my DH not pushed me to at least go look we would never had found this place.
My vote would be stick to the houses features. Let the buyers see for themselves what the area is like.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 8:07PM
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Depends. If this was an urban area I'd be fine with it. But the way you describe the walk, up a hill, makes me think it isn't urban, it's suburban. In which case I would consider it a huge disadvantage and I wouldn't mention it. Up a hill, not an easy walk, doesn't sounds like "accessible shopping", it sounds like you have a bad abutter.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 8:07PM
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Just to let you know, in our MLS we are not allowed to say "walking" distance to anything, as it is discriminatory against people who cannot walk. I enter listings for agents in my office and we have had a couple of phone calls from the MLS office about that language. I copy/paste their comments, so don't always catch it myself. When I do I have to change the verbiage to "minutes to shopping, parks, etc.".

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 11:28AM
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I'd say leave it off, not because you're trying to hide it, but because it's something that anyone checking out the neighborhood would undoubtedly notice on their own. For me, I would see it as an additional bonus, as long as I already liked your house and property... but if I saw that you were trying to spin it on your sheet, it would make me feel more cautious. I saw a listing last week that said something like, "don't let the location turn you off!" That statement alone made me think there was a problem.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 11:30AM
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Rule 1 -- Never put something the listing that will turn off at least a significant number of potential buyers.

Rule 2 -- Never hire an agent that doesn't understand Rule 1.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 12:37PM
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