We’ve all heard the saying about always a bridesmaid, never a bride – the girl who goes to all the weddings but doesn’t get married. In real estate, there are houses like that which have a hard time going under contract – “bridesmaid houses.” Whether it be due to a poor location, structural issues, or condition of the home, these homes are often overlooked by buyers. However, the discount these homes can fetch is all about timing.
In a seller’s market, which we’ve seen in the last 5-7 years as the market continues to go up, these homes have been a bit easier to sell. There might be just a 3-5% discount on a home that backs to railroad tracks, is on a busy corner, or has deferred maintenance. Ultimately, that isn’t too bad. But as the market shifts to more of a buyer’s market, these buyers will have increasing options to choose from.
When a buyer is house hunting and there are 10 houses that aren’t bridesmaids houses but one that is, the only way to get that bridesmaid house sold is to reduce the price. This means we’ll see a house that may sell at a 3-5% discount in a seller’s market sell for as much as a 15-20% discount in a buyer’s market.
If you know of anyone who has a house that might be challenging to sell, now is the time to do it. The market is starting to change, and the discounts aren’t as significant yet – especially in the spring.