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Realtors freaked out  RSS feed

 
mark andrews
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I have a 3770 square foot home we just put up for sale in southern NM with 2.3 acres of permaculture forest garden. 
Wow...are the realtors freaked out.  They definitely want to discount the price per square foot by a lot because it isn't 2 acres of mowed grass.
What a shame that society has gotten to the place where a property that grows food and supports animals is a negative thing.
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
gardener
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Location: Wisconsin, USA Zone 4b-5a
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I think it's nonconformity that's actually considered a negative thing.

I'd suggest making sure you have good copy for the for sale ad. I'm not a copywriter but something like: "Dare to be Different. Beautiful home with 2.3 Acres of lovely established perennial food garden plantings. Minimal maintenance and water required. Imagine being able to relax in your own slice of paradise and being able to go just outside your door to pick healthy fresh fruits and vegetables for your meals."

It might be worth getting a professional copywriter to write up the ad. The cost might well be made up by the extra you get for your house and land. I'm not sure I'd trust the realtors to do a proper job of it it if they're that appalled. Do you have any eco-realtors around there?
 
mark andrews
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Great ideas.  Great writing skills. 
I don't think we have any eco realtors around here.
I will pass your suggestions on to the realtors and if they don't sell it while it is under contract, I will look forward to seeing what I can do FSBO.
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
gardener
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Location: Wisconsin, USA Zone 4b-5a
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Thanks.

You also might want to mention anything that lowers ongoing costs, things like solar panels and like. Basically try to see your home through the eyes of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Normal and see what benefits they would appreciate in their own words. Maybe say it's an organic garden? I realize it's not exactly what it is but it might mean more to most people then saying it's a permaculture garden. Along those lines, one of the cost benefits could be "Why pay for organic at the grocery store when you can get it right out of your backyard". The overarching theme I'm getting at is trying to sell it based on the idea that it's not only worth as much as other properties in the neighborhood but that the ongoing costs associated with living in the house will be lower than normal home so they are getting more bang for their buck.

Maybe make sure some of the yard shots show ripe fruits and vegetables on the plants?

I'm mostly just brainstorming. I also know that when people hear ideas like this it tends to spark ideas of their own. Feel free to use any or none of this.
 
mark andrews
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All also great ideas....thanks.

It's funny, I have a very large solar system that runs pretty much everything but the big 5 ton A/C units.
The appraisers will not give you an extra penny for that.  I have to say it doesn't come with the house and then make a separate deal for it with a potential owner (if I want anything for it).

It is running 100 to 110 degrees here right now.  I don't normally grow a lot of annuals in my "garden" plot during the hot part of the summer.  I have some out in the forest garden under some trees however.
Anyway, the guy at our seed store must have thought I was out of my mind when I tried to explain that I "knew it was too late to plant a garden", but all I really need is a "show" garden so when people look at the house they see lot's of "green things".

Ultimately, his answer to what can I plant when it is 100+ degrees outside, was "nothing".
However, the winter swiss chard and lettuce in my hugel-bed is actually doing pretty well still.

Thanks again for your thoughts.
 
Marcus Billings
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Location: South Central Indiana
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Screw the appraisers Mark! And get new realtors!  Selling is marketing and if the realtor can't find a way to turn the words so that an established food forest is benefit, find one that can! They're just like lawyers, you think they're all the same until you see them in action.  Remember, they need you, not the other way around. (apologies for the excessive use of exclamation points)
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
gardener
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mark andrews wrote:It is running 100 to 110 degrees here right now.  I don't normally grow a lot of annuals in my "garden" plot during the hot part of the summer.  I have some out in the forest garden under some trees however.


The pictures for the ad wouldn't have to be current...
 
Mike Jay
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Realtors are not all the same.  We picked a bad one (top seller in the area) to sell our cabin.  The copy for the listing was horrible.  You'd think if you were selling a cabin on 20 acres in an area that was well known for deer hunting the realtor would mention the tree stands, food plots, established trails and apple trees in the listing.  Nope, plus it had typos in it.  We re-wrote the whole thing ourselves and gave it to her for the listing.

Two years later when it was time to sell our house, we did it ourselves on Zillow. 

You're selling a house that will really appeal to 1% of the buyers.  It will probably be somewhat more appealing than average to 5% of the buyers.  5% more may consider it similarly interesting to a manicured lawn and the rest of the buyers won't be interested anyway.  Forget the 94%, you're going after the 6%.  In my humble opinion, market to them and keep the price where it "should" be.  Those few people who would be excited by a food forest are slogging through hundreds of listings of "ordinary" houses and trying to find one that at least has a garden and some potential.  When they find yours, they'll fall in love.
 
David Livingston
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Have you advertised it on Permies
 
Judith Browning
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Our realtor had trouble looking beyond our house and all of the work it needed in the beginning, and the fact that it had a sawdust toilet and a path to an outhouse equipped with the same.  We realized, after several 'lookers' that we had to work harder at selling the land and play down the house (we ended up calling it a 'fixer upper', a great place to live while you build your dream home).

I went through all of our pictures and sent her peach trees loaded with fruit, flowers blooming, beautiful scenes with snow, areas with overlooks for house sites, etc.  The ones who bought (and are into permaculture) were not interested in the house as a first priority and loved the land, which is just what we had hoped for in a buyer.

Among other things, buyers apparently couldn't get a mortgage on our house because it didn't have a septic system and in the end, we took a deep cut in the price because of that. 

As someone said above, I think if you can show nice pics of all seasons and productivity you'll find the right buyer.

I also helped write the blurb about our place.  The realtor did one and I would write her to correct or further explain things and she would willingly change them....only you really know your place...don't let a realtor try to control how your place is represented.
 
Susan Pruitt
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Location: North Carolina, USA Zone 7b
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Ditto what everyone else said, with the emphasis on polishing what you have that are what you think are selling points (as you stated you are doing), and BELIEVE that there are more people out there like you who will value its features.  My experience with realtors is they've just memorized the "average" sales data and are not at all creative about selling.  They pretty much just take pictures, look at comps (which in your case may not exist), put it on MLS and wait for the phone to ring.   As someone else said, YOU manage the realtor, not the other way around.    I sold a completely renovated house in Baltimore with a single large loft bedroom and one bath,  that 3 realtors told me should be a much lower asking price because everyone wants 3 beds and 2 baths.   I insisted on my asking and sure enough a single buyer came along, loved the renovations and paid my asking price.  Appraisal was irrelevant because she had cash to pay the difference.   I agree that "established organic garden" or even "urban homestead" or "food forest" sounds romantic - permaculture is growing but I haven't met anyone on the street who knows what it is.   Best of luck to you!   With confidence it will happen :)
 
Tom Stuart
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Are you going to put up pictures on this site, and offer it for sale on this site?
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
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Did you sell? It will sell well. Simply sell it as lifestyle something. If the realtor is not good change him. Anyway I sold our old house with and internet realtor and this was OK saved me a lot of money. I only used the realtor because I wanted to be on this webpages were all houses are sold. I would not go down in price because you added value! Permaculture property for sale.. established orchard and veggie garden, solar hot water system.....list the benefits.
 
mark andrews
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No, I haven't sold yet.  The house is over 3770 square feet---so the price is our of reach of most people.  It will take a while.
At 90 $ a square foot, that adds up to a lot, but if any one is interested let me know and I can send pictures.

We did have excitement this week on another front.  We found out a scammer in Africa copied the photos from the MLS listing and put my house up for rent on Craig's list--real cheap.
He then had people fill out on line applications and tried to get them to send him money.

We found out about 3 couples who almost wired him money.  We will see in the next few days if any others show up and try to move in.
It was a shame to see folks so excited to think they were getting a green house and garden and then find out it was a scam.
One very nice gentleman was trying to move his very ill wife onto "what would have been their dream property".

My prayers for them have been very nice....the things I've suggested God do to the scam artist--not so nice!
(I'll work on that)

Keep turning our world green.



 
Rebecca Wheeler
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Mark, I applaud your entrepreneurial endeavor to sell your property as FSBO.  It certainly can be done, however, people are typically not savvy on how best to go about it.  Here, in Costa Rica, many owners have tried (also posting on Craigslist, etc) and have horror stories to tell!  I might suggest, as I have carved out a wee niche here in Costa Rica assisting sellers with the online marketing of their properties and vetting all prospects, that you use Social Media...specifically Twitter and Facebook.  If you would like some pointers, I'd be happy to share.  And I might be able to assist with developing copy for ads...using keywords. 
 
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