Traffic noise from a busy street can end up costing you more than a good night’s sleep. It could end up costing you thousands of dollars when you look to sell your home.
“If you’re in a busy location you have to be cognizant of price because you could be looking at, in comparison to your neighbourhood, I would suggest 10 to 20 per cent lower price point,” said Miles Takacs, a realtor with Re/Max Camosun.
He says there are three elements that go into selling your home: price, location and condition.
“In a perfect world you’d want to be able to tick all three of those boxes.”
But if a busy street or high noise area removes location from the list of positives, Takacs suggests sellers focus more intensely on the other two areas.
He said in that instance sellers should make a major effort to declutter to make rooms seem larger and give consideration to hiring a professional to stage the home.
“Because we’re already going to be battling with a negative before people even arrive at the front door.”
Takacs said sellers need to emphasize positives about the property, such as proximity to transit or a high walk score, and attempt to create some visual privacy if possible. In some cases, he has seen sellers take it even a step further.
“The property can be a little bit stigmatized by its address. I’ve known people with a corner property who have gone through the process of having their house address changed [from a busy street to the quieter side street].”
And a busy location is something that buyers should also take into account.
“As I remind my clients, you always need to be looking forward five, 10, 15 years – that street is not going away,” said Takacs.
But some of the negative stigma can go away if sellers put a bit of thought into the property before listing it.
“If you’re going to be compressing your price a bit because of the more challenging location, your showing condition needs to be 10 or 15 times higher to make sure that when people drive by they’re going to pull into the driveway,” he said.
“There’s lots of times when I have people in my car, the curb appeal kills them and we don’t go in the house.”
He suggests clearing the roof of any moss and pressure washing the driveway and walkways. “If you’re thinking of listing next spring, why not throw some tulip and daffodil bulbs in so they’re popping up in February?”
He said triple-pane windows can eliminate most noise from outside and a water feature in the yard can take the focus of the sounds of traffic. Takacs said open houses can also be beneficial for challenging sales and he suggests getting your neighbours involved with the process.
“You might think it’s a busy location but then you start talking to the neighbours and they’ll say ‘You know, you really don’t notice it after a while’ or ‘Yeah, it’s a bit noisy but there’s all these great things around us’,” he said.
“I’ve always found neighbours can be great advocates so it’s good to get them on board. They have a vested interest in who’s going to buy that house as well.”