Town and Country Real Estate

Selling town and country real estate.
  Any differences?

Marketing town and country real estate requires pretty much the same general preparation. However, preparing your country real estate for market does involve a few significant additional activities. Click rural living for more on the differences between city/suburban and country living.

One thing in common is that you still put your best foot forward by setting the stage, as it were. Staging is important - inside and outside.

Significant Physical Differences

There are a few things you can do to facilitate the sale of your rural real estate. Such things deal with the fundamental physical differences between town and country realty.

Before getting into the marketing process, since your fresh water likely comes from a well, check the equipment for good working order. To ensure potability, have the water tested by your local municipal health department. This is something you probably do on a regular basis anyway, but take in a sample immediately prior to listing the property for sale so you can offer a buyer current assurance of good water.

Since you're not on a sewer, if you've not done so recently, have the septic tank pumped. That way, a buyer prospect won't be guessing whether it will need it when they take possession. It's a minor selling feature, but it's also a courteous thing to do and removes one item from a buyer's check-list.

Do you have a sump pump in the basement? Check it to make sure it's also operating well. You might even go so far as to add a secondary pump or battery backup system. Nice added benefit for a buyer.

Outbuildings? Check them for major or minor needed repairs. Does your fencing need any work? Get it done ahead of time. Do you have large trees that could use a trim or even complete removal? Make it so.

Clean up junk from around the property. It may be treasure to you, but a buyer will see only old rusting vehicles, equipment, building materials and assorted paraphernalia that have been there since the days of Methuselah.

See your property from the buyer's perspective, including the main house that might be in desperate need of some renovation. Any obvious work the buyers feel they'll have to perform will have a negative impact on not only how much they'll agree to pay, but also whether they'll even submit an offer.

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You may not have farm animals, but if your property is sufficiently large, a buyer may like the idea of having chickens, yaks, a couple of horses or whatever. Check with the local municipality to inform yourself about restrictions pertaining to farm animals. What would be permitted on your property? What restrictions, such as property line set-backs, are there regarding outbuildings?

You should also be aware of any possibly adverse events happening in your area. Gravel pit applications, which have a huge impact on road traffic and noise, could be a major deterrent to a buyer. Is there any road construction planned in the near future that could affect the quiet enjoyment of your home? Are there any significant changes coming to local farming operations, or anything else that might affect a buyer's decision? For example, no one would really enjoy living adjacent a pig farm. Seek updates so you'll be better equipped to deal with any potential objections.


Do you have a survey of your property? You needn't hire a surveyor to produce one since it could be exceedingly expensive. But if you have one, make sure it's readily available. As it's a huge benefit, make a note on the listing that you have one. If you feel obtaining a survey might prove beneficial, contact your provincial/state national association for a member company in your area. In Ontario, contact The Association of Ontario Land Surveyors (AOLS). Nationally, contact the Association of Canada Land Surveyors (ACLS).

Beyond these concerns, there's really not much difference between selling town and country real estate.

The best time of year to market country real estate is normally spring.

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Buyers are reluctant to buy what they can't see. And if the ground is snow- covered, they're not inclined to even look, let alone buy. People relocating to the countryside want to enjoy their new country home over the summer and autumn. Therefore, if it's possible, list your place when spring flowers begin to poke out their heads.

Frankly, this is good advice for both town and country real estate. After school's out, buyers want to be in their new homes for the summer holidays.

Explore other pages on this website to learn more about rural living and rural real estate and what to look for when buying town and country real estate. It helps to understand what buyers will be searching for. If you can deliver, then the sale of your property will likely be more successful.

If you're considering selling your house - with or without an agent - check out my book The Happy Agent. There's an entire chapter on town and country real estate. Learn how to effectively evaluate your home, how to prepare it for market, including basic staging and renovations to enhance its value, how to advertise, how to handle showings and open houses like a pro, how to successfully negotiate an offer - and when it's time to throw in the towel and hire a professional.

When you consider the huge potential savings in real estate commission, the investment of a pittance of your time and money could prove quite worthwhile. At the very least, you'll be encouraged to try it alone. Remember - knowledge is power.

Available virtually everywhere print and e-books are sold.

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