Antique homes have a wonderful appeal to many people, yet they require a special approach when it comes to home marketing. Here are seven tips for selling an antique home.
Targeting the right buyer. I absolutely adore antique homes. I love their charm and detail. But antique homes aren’t for everyone. If you’re selling an antique property, talk with your listing agent about how they plan to connect with those buyers who are most apt to be intrigued by the property. Often this requires a very targeted marketing approach.
Allay fears about maintenance issues. The biggest concern we hear from home buyers considering antique homes is the cost to maintain the property. Be sure your listing agent is aware of any upgrades you’ve made to the home’s electrical, plumbing, heating, and other systems. Additionally, if you’ve made any changes to improve the energy efficiency of the home (ex: blowing in insulation), be sure your agent includes this information in their marketing of the property. Also, give your listing agent information about your average heat/utility costs. This can help overcome a potential buyer’s concerns.
Consider the windows. Many antique properties are set very close to the road. If you’re considering selling your home in the next few years, you may want to check into replacing the windows, at least in the front of the house. This serves two purposes: to reduce road noise and to make the home more energy efficient. (Note: Visit energystar.gov to learn about tax credits for installing energy-efficient windows. Typically, you can receive a tax credit of 10 percent of the cost of the windows, up to $500.)
Use historically accurate color schemes. If you’re repainting inside or outside your home, choose colors that are in keeping with the home’s time period. Several paint manufacturers such as California Paints and Benjamin Moore offer historically accurate paint palettes.
Work with a stager with experience in antique homes. They’ll know how to keep the home from feeling too formal—and how best to show off design quirks, such as unusual spaces and angles walls. “If you take a historic home too seriously, it can feel like a museum,” says Jill Valeri, president of The Welcome Home. “Homes are meant for daily living and the wear and tear that comes with it. Above all, they need to be comfortable and functional.”
Eliminate clutter in the living space and closets. Storage space is often a concern for buyers of antique homes. Clear away any excess items that can detract from the architectural elements of the home or make the space seem too cramped.
Embrace the home’s history. If you have information about the history of the home, be sure to share it with potential buyers. The property history could be in shared in a letter that buyers can read when they’re visiting the home or in an individual property website that highlights the home’s historic nature.
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