terrible market for historical home

nana8October 27, 2009

I have found it to be a terrible market for historical home North of Lexington, Ky. Due to ill health we must move to Illinois soon to be with our family. It is a 2500 sq ft., single story Victorian home, with all the extras. It is listed with an agent, but no lookers. It has 11 ft ceilings, hardwood floors, transon windows. We have replaced the furnace, wiring, dishwasher, hot water heater, and many other updates., still no nibbles. Any suggestions?

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Lower the price, this will bring lookers, buyers.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 6:27PM
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Assuming the exposure is fine:

1.If there are no showings and no offers... the home is overpriced quite a bit.
2. If there are showings and no offers, the home is a little overpriced.
3. If the home is priced right, there will be many showings and at least one good offer.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 7:01AM
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A single story Victorian Home?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 9:01AM
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If you post a link to the listing, I'm sure you will get more targeted suggestions. Your house may be overpriced or there may be something else that is keeping buyers from wanting to look in person.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 1:36PM
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Not familiar with styles in certain parts of the country, but linda mentioned a single story Victorian. I know in the bay area of CA there are alot of multi story Victorian, but I have never seen a true one story. Does the poster mean Victorian Style and how old is the house.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 5:58PM
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Linda117: A single story Victorian Home?

That was my first thought too.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 6:27PM
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"Linda117: A single story Victorian Home?

That was my first thought too."

Me too!
I have never seen anything but a two story.
OP - can you post a photo?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 6:54PM
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Scroll down on this one and you'll find several examples

Historical Tour

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 4:05PM
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Listing Summary
Listing #918114
$169,900 (LP)

422 Pleasant St, Paris, KY 40361 Active
Beds: 3 Baths: 2 (2 0) (FH) Sq Ft: 2584 Lot Sz: 0sqft
Area: 006 Age: 120

Over $23,000 under Appraisal! Gorgeous 3 BR 2 BA historical victorian home features 11' high ceilings, sky lights, hardwood, tile, 4 fireplaces, crown molding, sunken tub, pantry, bay window in dining room and more. Attic has awesome storage or could be finished for additional living spaces. There is a great, large addition which overlooks brick garden patio, tress, and pretty landscaping.


Additional Pictures

Picture Map

1 of 38 Pictures

Picture Map

Pictures (38) See Map
Area Bourbon County
Subdivision Downtown
Approx Square Feet 2584
Lot Sq Ft (approx) 0 Lot Acres (approx) 0.000

County Bourbon
Beds 3 Baths (FH) 2 (2 0)
Age 120
School District
MLS Listing #91814

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 5:03PM
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I don't see that as Victorian.
And most truly historical home do not have skylights.

Maybe others are just as confused....

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 5:56PM
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I think there is a difference between historical home and a Victorian one. A truly historical must not have the modern designs etc such as sky lights and sunken tubs. A Victorian style might. Guess I have watching HGTV too much.
Any thought on this?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 6:53PM
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Here's a link to the listing after googling the address. I think it's a very nice home. I wouldn't call it a true Victorian historical house, but it has many nice architectural features, and the updates are very nice.

The price seems very reasonable. A negative could be the curb appeal. It's very close to the street and perhaps you need some mums or something colorful on the porch to enhance the curb appeal. You might want to trim the shrubs to let the charm of house be more visible.

Here is a link that might be useful: mls listing

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 9:14PM
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It appears very cold to me.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 11:06PM
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What exactly does "historical" mean in this context? The architecture? Did someone famous live there?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 11:10PM
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I think it is very pretty and can't believe the price. The pictures could be better. They don't give a feel for the rooms, seems more like photos of the furniture. Too many closeups not enough of the rooms. I would try to take new pictures. You have a lovely home but your listing doesn't show it well.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 12:08AM
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I think the pictures are horrible and makes the outside look like it needs lots of work and it looks very dark inside. There is not really a good view of any rooms at all, just a wall or piece of furniture here and there.

The bicycle in the picture makes it seem like there is no storage - may not be, but at least not in the picture. Unless I was a die hard has to have an older home - I'm not sure I'd go and look at the property from the pictures.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 6:42AM
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I, also, think the pictures are bad. First off, I would not have 5-6 pictures of the front and 10 or so pictures of the backyard. Because your house sits higher up the incline, I would not have pictures taken from the sidewalk looking up - all you see is green vegetation - the house is lost. The interior pictures, in general, are dark. Curtains should be open and pictures taken mid-day when the sun is at it's brightest. I'd also lose the bicycle. All the interior pictures should be taken when the photographer is standing farther away from the rooms. For example, it's like they are standing right on top of the fireplace when they took that picture.

I'd also keep the number of pictures to a minimum - by having a ton of pictures, you leave the viewer with no reason to come to look at your home.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 8:27AM
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I agree the pictures don't help at all. Why just a picture of the kitchen sink and not the whole room? Too many outside shots and the inside shots, as noted, don't really convey anything about the rooms. It's hard to believe there's 2,500 sq ft based on the photos.

I'd recommend getting better photos.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 8:39AM
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Gotta agree with the other posters...the pictures of your house are terrible. Very dark, pictures of individual items rather then the whole room. You don't have any pictures of the kitchen or a bedroom if I recall correctly. Doesn't make me want to even do a drive by to check out the house to make an appointment to see the inside. Have some better photos taken of the whole room. Put away the bike and some of the photos in the hallway. Clean up and neaten the front walk way leading up to the entrance. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 9:41AM
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I think your house needs some quick cleanup and staging followed by some new pictures.

First, get the personal stuff packed up. Box up any knicknacks. Take down the family photos. Store any bikes or exercise equipment. Toss out any fake or dried flowers. Clear off the kitchen counters and take all the magnets or pictures off the fridge. Outside, either trim back or remove the overgrown shrubs so you can actually see the house.

After that, take some new photos. You want to show entire rooms - no closeups of lights, sinks etc.

Once all that is done, you need to have a serious discussion with your agent about pricing. Have her pull sales data from the last couple of months and show you what 3 bedroom houses are selling for in your area. 170k would be a steal for you house in some areas of the country, but it looks like the 4 bedroom house across the street is listed at only 68k. In fact, you have over 20 houses for sales within a mile or so of you that are under 100k and they are still sitting unsold. You really need your agent to do some legwork at this point to find out what comparable houses are selling for in your area and then decide if you can afford to sell at that price.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 10:38AM
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I agree with what the others said. You need to declutter and take new pictures. You might also do a little staging. IMO, a little more color in the furnishings would help accent the details of the place. Your house has beautiful features and looks lovely, but there is no romance.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 10:47AM
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One of the worst pictorials we have ever had posted on GW. With some of the lulus we've had posted here in the past, that is really saying something.

Are you getting any viewing at all? If not, it is because your pictures are terrible. There is nothing "charming", "vintage", "period", "historical" that would make anyone want to view your house from looking at those photos. From the street it looks like a 4-square that needs a bunch of work. Inside, it looks even worse. And, if the price is not in-line with the neighborhood, your photos are not showing any justification for such pricing.

I seldom recommend a stager but in your case it would be worth the money. You DO have some features that are appealing. They are just not correctly highlighted. Once the stager is finished a professional real estate photographer would be a great investment, and then get rid of those 25 (!!!) crummy photos and replace them with the staged/professional pictures.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 2:45PM
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Thanks everyone for your sugesstions. I will talk to my realator, and see about the other issues. The house is 125 years old, and the transom windows, and 4 fireplaces among other things make it a vintage home. The new addition to the home was made about 20 years ago, and included 8 new skylights, six in the family room and 2 in the bathroom. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 4:22PM
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I disagree about fewer pictures. I am looking for a home and I think more pictures are better, or else I think the seller is trying to hide something.

Is there a back yard? Everything Billl said - and make sure to have at least one picture of each room, including bathrooms. Pictures are very important.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 6:23PM
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nana8--I think your home is FABULOUS; I absolutely love it. Really charming. Get some better photos up; I know there's someone out there (like me) who will fall in love with that house. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 2:36AM
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I would show the whole kitchen, not just the sink, backyard if any, garage, basement, bedrooms etc. The pictures appear to be "cold" looking but I like brighter colors. Go thru the house yourself as if YOU were going to buy it. That might help. Use of a digital camera helps as you can review right away what you take and correct it.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 8:37PM
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I love the house...a very unique exterior for a ranch home...and certainly vintage as it is 120 years od...but not historic or Victorian.

You could try doing some research on its origins...you may find that it has some signifigance in its architecture that could be used as a selling point.

All of the suggestions above are excellent. Follow up on them and chances are that you will soon have an offer.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2009 at 3:35PM
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Looks like the photos have not been changed...

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 5:55PM
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You must have you realtor change the photos. They are very bad. You do not need so many of the outside and you certainly don't need close ups of the kitchen sink and a bike in one of the rooms.

It looks like the house might have some really great features, but I was so busy being turned off by some of the dreadful photos that I barely noticed.

Good luck and have these pictures changed asap.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 11:55AM
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As old houses goes yours has lost much of what made it historical and appealing to old house lovers. You have on your hands a old house that has been modernized and not in a way that appeals to most old house owners. I'd ditch the use of terms 'old house' and 'historical' and go with simply 'updated home with charming and unique details.'
There is a certain expectation when one advertises a old home and unfortunately I do not see your home as meeting that description. This isn't a bad thing it just means you need to change the way you are marketing it in order to get the people in.
I agree whole heartedly with the others on this forum who have suggested better pics.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 2:41PM
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First off, I find the architecture of your home very pleasant, and quirky in a good sort of way. I am an old house lover (presently living in one sixty years older than yours). You have some nice details in it, and it's quite large for a house of its style.

I went poking around on demographics for the Lexington, Kentucky area (beautiful country, btw) and sites on housing trends there. The market there is fairing considerably better than in many other parts of the country. Houses are selling, especially those appealing to first time home buyers (under 200K) The average length of time on market is 3-4 months. The average selling price? Exactly what yours is listed at. There are more buyers than sellers.

So why isn't yours even getting lookers? I'm not putting your house down, but encourage you to pull up the listings and look at the prices of houses priced lower than yours.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 3:05AM
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We used to live in a 160 year old home...two feet thick stone exterior, deep, uneven window sills, stone floor in some rooms, etc. So yes, lots of character which is appealing to certain types of people. Unfortunately, with that charm of an older home, there are also concerns. Energy-use money pit, upkeep concerns, etc. To offset this we put in new energy efficient windows, new hot water/furnace, insulated areas that needed it, etc. In addition, we included our utility prices on the listing b/c with all the things we did, it was surprisingly energy efficient. We also offered a one year home warranty transferable to the buyers. Alot of work and money (but we did it over four years) but the payoff is that the house was under contract three weeks after listing and we have settlement on the 25th. Good luck with this! I know it can be stressful, especially the waiting game!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 2:16PM
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From the first photo of the exterior my impression was "cute"! But it quickly faded when looking further inside your house. Is it really necessary to take a picture of a bike? Oh, was that a room behind it? All I noticed was the bike (indoors) and it led me to look to see if there was a garage (no). One big mark against it.

What I saw of the yard looked very small, no room for a futre garage or any of those outdoor spaces that are so popular.

The light fixtures are ugly. Why are you highlighting them in pictures? And when I saw the picture of the kitchen sink I thought okay, they zoomed in on this, so what are they hiding? I would have been very interested to see the layout of the kitchen, which is tremendously important in the buying decision. My guess is that the layout is small, clumsy, unattractive or all of the above.

The one fireplace I saw looked unoperative. Another negative. I'm guessing it doesn't have a large bathroom (even though the listing says 2 bathrooms). They weren't pictured so nothing to brag about there.

If you are serious about selling your house you should highlight only the architectural details, and not the everyday "stuff" like the bike that shows you are missing some of the modern conveniences.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 3:00PM
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