by Christine Suhadolnik/Jane Douglas
Pricing an historic home for sale is quite different than pricing an ordinary home.
Pricing historic properties is an art in that it requires a Real Estate specialist who appreciates and understands this type of home. It necessitates a professional who understands the significance of these properties and is also aware of the many aspects necessary to price them correctly. As an art, a Realtor experienced in historic properties will first tour the house room by room to identify the unique characteristics. Like a blank canvas, each room’s unique traits are identified and compiled as part of the entire picture. Subsequently, each property’s architectural details, unique characteristics and historic backgrounds are assembled to arrive at a market price.
Compiling this information is an art because the realtor needs to compare this specific home to other historic properties with similar style, age and structure. To determine the pricing, condition and updates are essential. Much like homes built more recently, historic home buyers look for updated kitchens and baths combined with charm and vintage architecture. Unlike newer homes however, the comparable sales and listings will not always be in the closest geographical areas.
In addition to the historic characteristics and updates, the realtor will also look at outbuildings, such as well houses, barns and carriage houses. The determination if these add market value is based on both function and condition, which go hand in hand. For example, a horse barn may be a significant asset to a property but if it is not in good condition and requires renovation, it could be a deterrent to selling the property.
Finally, the realtor you select should be able to speak the “language” of historic properties in order to attract the correct buyers. This includes understanding features such as, tongue-and-groove flooring, plaster walls, curved deep windowsills, beamed ceilings and specialized mill work. Additionally, the historic background of the home should be included, understanding that it may not increase the value but does increase the appeal of the house. Moreover, the realtor’s ability to convey these features properly and accurately is essential.
Marketing historic and vintage properties is a multi-faceted project and requires a realtor to understand the architectural details of a home, the style based on age, integration of updates, significance and use of outbuildings. The realtor then needs to be able to convey this information to attract the historic home buyer. In all, this truly is an art and requires experience to paint the overall portrait of a special historic property.