Here in the Baltimore area market, so many homes are what I call "Clone-onials." You know, the lovely 4 bedroom, 2-1/2 bath, large family room, 2 car garage, Colonial-style house in a good school district. They can be anywhere from modest size to McMansions, but they often look as if some giant cookie-cutting machine spit them out into neat developments of cul-de-sacs. Now there's nothing wrong with these – they sell well, and I won't turn them down – but they aren't much fun, either.
What is fun is the challenge of selling an unusual property. When I started thinking about "Clone-onials," I looked back and found that the transactions I enjoyed the most did not fit that mold.
Taney Road was a double challenge – it was an unusual shape and style, having been designed by the architect/owner. Its biggest issue was the condition inside. I usually include lots of interior photos with a listing, but this time there were a few selected shots. Let's just say that the best solution was to strip it down to the bare walls and floor, and start again. So that's what we did, selling it "as is," and that way put the price in range for some lucky buyers.
Marbrook was about as far as you can get from Clone-onial with its dramatic contemporary styling. It took as special kind of buyer for this unusual home, but the desirable location definitely helped.
As contemporary and sleek as Marbrook Road was, Keller Avenue was at the other end of the spectrum. The small two-bedroom one-bath rancher looked to me like a tear down because the house was in need of major repair, but it sat on a full acre in a beautiful neighborhood. We thought we were selling it for the land, but a young couple with energy and dreams bought it to rehab.
Then there was Grasty Road... A lovely rancher with a pool and two big negatives: it had no basement, and it backed up to the noise-abatement wall of the busy Baltimore beltway. That one went to auction to find the right buyer.
Sometimes it's just doing the logical things that sell a challenging property. German Hill Road was on the market for a couple of years with other agents but had no takers. It had acreage on a busy street in a desirable area of Baltimore county, with a small ranch house, greenhouse, a three-car garage, and subdivision possibilities. This "unsaleable" property needed the right kind of advertising and a simple sign out front. After two years on the market, it sold within a week to a neighboring church that wanted to expand. Advertising to the right buyers, and being available to take the many, many phone calls – as many as 25 a day- were the secrets to selling this property.
And one of my favorite properties, on Triadelphia Road.. an historic church that has been a home and artist's studio for the last 30 years. Here, too, the possibilities are limitless for buyers with imagination. I loved selling that home.
And another of my all time favorite homes was this contemporary that used to be an Ostrich farm.
And that's really the answer, isn't it? With imagination and creativity, even challenging properties can be sold. "Clone-onials" are easy – I'll take the "unsaleable" property any day.