Do you list older homes in your community? If so, some of them have a history that could help you sell them.
I realize that some people are only interested in “new” and don’t give a hoot about who lived in a home in the past. But those aren’t the people who will buy your late 1800’s or early 1900’s home.
They’re the ones who might wait until the contractor puts the finishing touches on a brand new home in a brand new subdivision. So don’t worry about them – they aren’t your customers anyway.
Those who do love old homes are quite often fascinated with the history behind them. So do your research and tell the story in your marketing materials. If you’re in a small community and have a local newspaper, you might even want to run a block ad with a short version of the story.
It might read something like “Historic Watson home now offered for sale. This home, built in 1898, was home to Jeremy Watson, his wife and 8 children. Mr. Watson was a prominent member of Mytown society in the 1890’s and early 1900’s, and the Watson home was the scene of grand balls – as well as some “grand brawls.” Visit www.mywebsite.com for the rest of the story.
Yes, even people who aren’t interested in a home will follow the link and read the story – because people love stories.
But that’s a good thing. They’ll be more people who know your name and know that you do your homework!
If the current owners don’t know the home’s history, ask them to pay the small fee to have the title company trace it back to the beginning… when it was first constructed.
Find out who owned and developed the land, who was the architect who drew the plans, who lived there first, and who has lived there since.
Once you have the names, go to the library and see what you can learn about those people. If your own family has lived in the community for a long time, go to your oldest relatives and ask them what they remember – it might help in your search.
Almost anything you can learn will be interesting to the kind of history buffs who will love your listing.
You may learn that the lady of the house taught in the one-room school until she married the banker. Or, you may learn that the former occupant was one of the town’s “Founding Fathers” who bankrolled much of the town’s development. You might even find out that it was owned by the local madame!
While you’re at it, look into the builder. Was he a significant member of society in those days? Did he build many of the town’s historic homes? Did he have a reputation with a bit of “flavor?”
More and more, we want to connect with the past. So give your potential buyers a connection they simply can’t resist.
P.S. The photo here is the former Kaiser home, where my Grandmother stayed during the school year back when she was a child in the late 1890's, and which has now been relocated and turned into the town's museum.