This summer, all signs point to our Bainbridge Island real estate market being a sizzling hot one. For anyone who will be selling a property soon, it’s time to take stock of the factors that will influence how attractive (and competitive) their offering will turn out to be,

Always near the top of the list is, of course, location: location as geography (how close it is to Bainbridge Island’s key shopping, parks and recreation areas) and location as setting (how desirable is the surrounding neighborhood).

And when it comes to location, a stubborn fact of life is that selling a property in a rundown neighborhood can be a real challenge. Sometimes, neglectful neighbors can be the problem. According to the President of the Appraisal Institute, a property with an overgrown yard or peeling paint can readily reduce a neighbor’s sale price by 5%-10%. In run-down neighborhoods where foreclosures are common or crime levels are high, selling a Bainbridge Island property for what would be an otherwise reasonable price can be all but impossible. Even so, there are some steps that can be taken.

Establish a preferred route…

Most marginal neighborhoods are a mix of unsightly and good areas. To insure that potential buyers are first aware of the positive elements in your neighborhood, be sure you and your agent are on the same page for providing the most attractive route to reach your property. Sooner or later any future buyer will certainly be exposed to the less desirable blocks—but that first impression should be the best it can be.

…avoid overspending on improvements…

When selling a property in a bad neighborhood, it’s always tempting to compensate by spending on renovations. But perspective should come into play: there is likely to be an upward limit that any house in a challenging neighborhood can sell for. By not overspending on improvements, wise sellers maximize their flexibility when it comes to negotiating price.

…even tidy up a neighboring property!

The thought of taking responsibility for a neighboring property is hardly appealing. It’s not your fault that they have let their yard become overgrown or allowed their front fence to be peeling paint. But if you judge that a relatively simple amount of effort will greatly improve a neighboring property’s appearance, consider telling the neighbor that you will be selling a property this summer and wonder if you could give them a hand with their yard. If you are tactful enough, some neighbors will even volunteer to solve the problem themselves.

Selling a Bainbridge Island property in a less-than-stellar neighborhood is undeniably a challenge. The key is to fix the things that you can while avoiding overspending on improvements. Often selling a property in a run-down neighborhood comes down to a question of price: determining that in advance can make the best outcome most likely.

Thinking of buying or selling soon?  Call me today to put a plan in motion.

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