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What Happens When a One-of-a-Kind Home Needs a New Owner?

What Happens When a One-of-a-Kind Home Needs a New Owner?

Sometimes when you’re shopping for a home, you can come across one that truly stands out for some reason. Maybe it’s architecturally significant or in some way conveys a “different” attribute—it might be a castle, church or a fire station that has been converted into one or more living spaces. With an unusual home, pricing and marketing can be a challenge, but Zillow offers three important factors to keep in mind if you’re thinking about buying or selling a truly unique property.

1. Buyers should be cautious

A would-be buyer may want to reconsider purchasing an offbeat home. Although it might be a home you love, it also is an investment. A home with a unique, unchangeable structural feature likely will alienate a large portion of the market. If you’re faced with the opportunity to purchase a unique home, don’t get caught up in the excitement of it all. Think long term. Understand that when it comes time to sell, it may be a burden, particularly if you try to sell in a slow market.

2. When selling, don’t assume buyers will love what you love

As the owner of an interesting or different home who is considering a sale, be aware that not everyone will have the same feeling about the home as you did when you bought the place. While you’re likely to get lots of activity, showings and excitement over your property, a lot of that simply might be curious buyers, nosy neighbors or tire kickers. Time after time, sellers with unique homes believe that since they fell head over heels, another buyer who might feel the same. But that person could be hard to find.

3. Hire the right agent and have a serious marketing/pricing discussion

A unique home requires a unique marketing plan and pricing strategy, as well as a good agent. The buyer may not even live in your local market, and instead might be an opportunist buyer open to a unique property. So, you should consider advertising outside the mainstream circles. Media and press can help get the special home the attention it may need. The buyer may not want to live in your town, but is fascinated by an old church or castle. The more you get this out there, the better your options for finding the specific buyer. If you get lots of action but few offers, you may need to drop the price below the comparable sales to generate interest, particularly if you really need to sell. Just like a home with a funky floor plan, on a busy intersection or with a tiny backyard, the market for your unique home is simply smaller.