How Do You Sell a Home That

by Karen Briscoe
June 16, 2011

It is generally assumed that it is easier for a salesperson to sell a home when the salesperson “believes” in the product.   This leaves one wondering, is the opposite true as well:  It is difficult for an agent to sell a home that’s not the Realtor’s personal style?

The Washington, DC metro area attracts people from all over the world because it is the United States Capital.  This broad cultural influence has created a virtual melting pot of home design and style.  This cultural diversity provides the advantage of there being more choices then most metropolitan markets in America.

If you recall the history of this nation, Virginia was on the southern side of the conflict.  There are still many remnants of this in home design, the market preference is still the colonial style.  Because the Northern Virginia area trends toward being the “land of the colonial”, other styles tend to stand out.  Standing out in the crowd can work in the favor or be a disadvantage, it just depends.  The times it works in the favor of the home Seller is if the unique style is rarely available and yet highly desirable.  The times it works as a disadvantage is if it is so taste-specific as to attract a very small pool of potential Purchasers, the Seller has to wait until the next potential Purchaser enters the market.

My response to a Purchaser who asks whether I like a home they are considering buying, I usually respond with the fact that I already own a home that I like, and that my job is to help them find a home that they can be happy living in.  Typically I keep my responses focused as to what the market value is for a property, rather than on what my particular tastes are.

The key to selling an unusual for the market home style is to discover its unique value proposition.  First, I visit with the owner to narrow in on what attracted them to the home, then figure out how to apply that to the broader market.  Sometimes it is like trying to find a needle in a haystack though and requires deeper analysis.  Another technique is to find the last time a similar property sold and what those conditions were and the pricing relative to the market at that time.  I have also contacted agents in other market areas that have dealt with similar properties to glean information as to how they marketed the property successfully.

Sometimes it requires having an honest conversation with the Seller and explaining to them that they either over improved their home for the market or they built something that the market does not desire.  What I have found is that price will overcome just about anything.  A true market determines the value of a product/commodity, not the person who owns it.

Whether a buyer or seller of real estate, Karen Briscoe with the Huckaby Briscoe Realty Group, Keller Williams Realty would be delighted to be of assistance. Karen can be reached at 703-734-0192 or  Or visit the HBC Realty Group website for more information at

Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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