In areas like downtown Lancaster, PA, where the Andy Esbenshade team is located, history seeps out of every nook and cranny of the city. From the old edifices that still stand to the classic farmers’ markets, the city abounds with history and old homes. Selling a historic house comes with its share of challenges, from finding the right buyer to pricing it properly, but considering their extensive experience, the Andy Esbenshade has some tricks of the trade for selling a historic house.
Tell a Story: As anyone who works in social media or content writing will tell you, content is king. Consumers value authenticity and an intriguing narrative. As you find time, do as much digging as you can into the history of the home, its previous owners, and the context of the city and nation at the time it was built. Weaving a tale around the home will engage buyers by including them in the continuing saga of the house.
Clean it up: While the structure and exterior of the home can benefit from looking historic and aged, the people who live inside it will likely want most of the comforts that come with living in the 21st century. Where it doesn’t compromise the integrity of the house, make sure that the electricity and plumbing are up to code and that the interior is cared for and tidy. While weather-worn brick is fashionable, mold is not.
Draw Attention to Craftsmanship: A huge selling point for older houses is the level of care and craftsmanship that goes into the masonry, stone work, bricklaying, and windows. For the astute buyer, these aspects of a house may sell them in and of themselves. Include the quality of the handiwork as you weave the narrative of the home itself.
Stage for Nostalgia: As you start to decorate for showings, scale back on the modern bric a brac and instead play up the old-timey milieu of the space. Old leather sofas, vintage bar stools, faded inaccurate maps, and a healthy smattering of whiskey glasses will put guests into the mindset of how they can continue to honor the history of this home going forward and showcase to their own guests the value.
Be flexible on the price: There are both pros and cons from the buyer’s perspective of buying an older house. While it’s a beautiful piece of history, the upkeep could be costly, and it may need more maintenance because of old piping or wiring. The right buyer and you will be able to agree on a fair and mutually pleasing price, but it may take some debate about the short- and long-term value. Be knowledgeable, flexible, and open to negotiation.