Selling a house is always difficult. Even if your house is the only one being sold in your area, you still have to meet up to expectations to some extent. Buyers may make choices out of desperation occasionally, but nobody will buy a run down house unless they are planning to sell it.
However, even if you have a gorgeous house, there are some aspects you can’t control that will turn away buyers. This is all summed up in one word: location. Your neighborhood can either make or break a sale, so it is important to know what people will think of it. If you find that your neighborhood has worsened over time, or you chose to live in a bad neighborhood to begin with, you will need to find ways to make up for the location in order to snag a buyer.
First, I would make sure your house is structurally sound and all appliances/equipment is up-to-date. This includes the roof, the hot water heater, and making sure there are no pests in your house. Showing potential buyers that you had these checked professionally is a great way to show that they won’t have to shell out money in a year or two, and buyers love that.
Next, I would make sure the security system is top-notch. If you personally have had no problems, you can say so, but acknowledge how the neighborhood looks at surface level and say you added these upgrades to show new homeowners that they will be safe. Cameras may be effective, but just having a good alarm system will go far.
Then, I would make sure the landscaping looks ideal. Usually, bad neighborhoods (in terms of crime) will also look beat up on the outside. Making your yard (or front porch) look pristine can possibly take some attention away from the surrounding area. Likewise, if you have a backyard, make sure it is well-maintained. Any garages, decks, etc. can also be lumped in here.
Another thing you want to do is make sure your interior looks great. Give your rooms a fresh coat of paint, fix anything that needs to be fixed, and tidy up regularly. Keeping your interior updated and clean makes a great impression on anyone, but it can easily be the factor that gets a buyer’s mind off of the rest of the neighborhood.
The final thing you should do when selling a house in a bad neighborhood is seriously consider the price. If following all of my previous advice would cause you to increase your asking price significantly, maybe hold off and evaluate what you are willing to do to keep your price lower. Even if your house is solidly maintained with extra security, people may not be willing to buy a super expensive house in a bad neighborhood. You also should look at what houses in good neighborhoods cost to compare your price point. Your realtor will guide you through this, but at the end of the day, it is your decision.
Selling a home in a bad neighborhood is never easy. Some buyers won’t even look at houses in unsavory parts of town. Others may be afraid to drive over for a showing. At the end of the day, you need to go above and beyond in order to sell your home.