Paint all the rooms a fluorescent green; have your home for sale for more than 3 years straight; cook sauerkraut before every home showing; have every pet you own use the living room as if it were their private litter box…You get the idea.
On a more serious note, this article is not about the obvious home value haters but the ones you may never consider. Following is a list of things I came up with:
- Aggressively Overpricing a Home / Days on the Market ~ Overpricing often wastes the most important time in the listing of a home, the first 3 weeks. This is when many of the prospective buyers will see your property show up on all the web sites and Multi-list. This could lead to the best buyers passing on and forgetting about the home. Lowering the price and extended days on the market tend to weaken the eventual selling price of the home.
- Homeowner Insurance Claims ~ The new home buyer will likely be getting homeowner insurance. The insurance company will look up the homes past record relating to any and all claims. The outcome could cause the home buyer to pay a larger premium. The Seller Property Disclosure Statement asks the home seller to explain any insurance claims they filed. This is to disclose the condition that caused the issue along with the fact that it could affect the insurance premium. Higher insurance premiums are not a benefit to a home’s value.
- Excessively High Property Taxes ~ This is rather simple. If the property taxes are high the monthly payment will be high. Anything that raises the monthly payment of a home negatively affects its value. Consider a home value assessment yearly. If your tax assessment is higher than the home’s value you have the right to appeal the assessment.
- Zoning Changes or Requested Variances in Your Municipality ~ Zoning changes happen from time to time. These changes could have a negative effect on one’s property. This is especially true when land is available next to a residential area. Stay in touch with your municipality by going to meetings or visiting the Municipality web site for your area. Make sure your voice is heard.
- No Permits for Improvements ~ This is another question that is asked on the Seller Property Disclosure Statement. Remember, this document is reviewed by a prospective home buyer prior to considering a home purchase. Many agents will forward this document to their home inspector to review prior to the inspection. It does not look good to see improvements with a “NO” in the answer box. This can easily be corrected.
- Undocumented Common Space ~ The most common of issue is the shared driveway with no maintenance or use agreement. Others include shared water wells, septic systems, parking areas, etc…This will almost always be an issue with a home buyer. While you may enjoy a civil existence with your neighbor of 20 years, the people buying your home may not be as trusting. This can be more difficult to solve and should be addressed prior to listing a home or property.
- Failed Home Sale Issues ~ You get an agreement on your home, the buyer has a home inspection and mortgage contingency, your agent changes the status of your home to PENDING and the deal falls apart. Now the home status is changed back to ACTIVE. This can raise suspicions that the deal fell apart because there was something wrong with the home. This is why I subscribe to using the ACTIVE-O status instead of PENDING when there are buyer contingencies outstanding. This leaves the home active on all the web sites therefore it does not create the same suspicions. There is also the disclosure of the home inspection if one was ordered and delivered to the seller’s agent.
All these issues are manageable. Goodness knows there are more issues that affect home values than one can write in any one article. You simply need an agent in the know.