The world and the world of Real Estate have changed since I got into selling historic homes almost 30 years ago, so what follows is a review of points to remember before you list or sell an historic home in today's market.
1. Don't worry if it does not have a glitzy interior but retains original features such as marble mantles.
2. Don't worry if it's not "open plan" but worry if so many interior walls have been removed that the house has lost its original character.
3. Worry if you have removed all the original millwork.
4. Worry if you have made the fireplaces either disappear or have changed them into something that looks like it came from Home Depot.
5. Worry if it still has "knob and tube" wiring, because your buyer won't be able to get homeowners' insurance.
6. Worry if it has a well which has not been tested in many years.
7. Worry if it has a septic system that consists of either a cesspool or has not been regularly serviced and tested.
8. Rejoice if a bit of open space (or a lot of open space) surrounds the house and if you still have a preserved outbuilding or barn.
9. If you have not been doing regular repairs on the roof or major systems, expect that your house will be sold as a "fixer-upper" at a commensurate price.
10. Rejoice if you have kept up repairs and there are no signs of swaying chimneys, missing slates or roof shingles, cracked plaster, or ugly water stains on the ceilings. Neglecting upkeep has an ugly name, and it is "demolition by neglect."
And do REJOICE that you have been fortunate to live in a piece of history that is valued by your community and a treasure for all to enjoy!
This information is presented by Carolyn Roland, Your Older and Historic Homes Resource in Delaware and Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania.