Listing Courtesy of OCEAN ATLANTIC SOTHEBY'S INTL REALTY
Putting together a Lewes listing is serious business. It has to be brief, to-the-point, and at the same time, engaging. The photos and language of a Lewes listing is the tip of the marketing spear: if it’s dull, and just a repetition of the specifics that are enumerated in the columns of numbers that follow, it’s less likely to get more than a glance from potential buyers.
At the same time, every Lewes listing has to be fastidiously accurate. If it exaggerates or mischaracterizes a property’s features, it will waste time and effort by creating traffic from prospects who were never going to be interested in the first place. They’ll be rightly annoyed. A well-crafted listing for a Lewes home will highlight the distinctive features that make it stand out from the crowd. It will attract qualified buyers who will want to investigate further.
As a matter of course, we in the real estate profession check out lots of listings from many other areas. It’s part of the job, keeping abreast of what is new elsewhere—comparing how others in other areas meet the challenges of language and imagery. Of course, after years of experience, you encounter few surprises.
But last week there was news of a listing unlike any other. I’m not sure that the details and language are going to be useful for describing many Lewes properties, since this detailed a foreign estate (on the Côte d’Azur) being put on the market by “a talented artist and musician.” The asking price is $33+ million, so it’s also a bit pricey for most buyers. But as an attention-getter, this listing ranks right up there at the top.
First off, the talented artist and musician is Johnny Depp, whose comings and goings generate headlines at all times. The listing language, in fact, is most precisely quoted by the Australian Domain real estate site—rather than a French source. The Australian public has been keeping track of Depp because of his continuing brush with authorities there over alleged dog-smuggling activities (his Yorkies, Pistol and Boo, are now safely out of the country). Domain tells us that the estate consists of “more than a dozen buildings, including a main house, several guest cottages, a chapel, a bar & restaurant, a workshop/garage, a staff house and much more.”
Students of listing lingo might decide that this descriptor belongs in the ‘subtly understated’ category, particularly when the “much more” is teased out: the estate, it turns out, is actually a small Provençal village. More than a decade ago, Depp bought an entire early-19th-century village. It may have been a bit run down—but it did include its own church (the actor turned it into a guest cottage, with the confessional becoming a wardrobe). Depp took on the project as a sort of extreme DIY project. The restaurant became his dining room. He brought in a covered wagon for another guesthouse (it’s unclear how that worked out).
Not every Lewes listing rates being quoted in a feature story in The Wall Street Journal, but this one surely did. “A wine cave in the main house has a Pirates of the Caribbean motif,” according to the Journal (as one reader commented, “Go get’m Sparrow!”).
You don’t have to have a French village, though, if you are thinking of adding your own estate to this summer’s Lewes listings. Just give me a Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.
There are two kinds of situations that homeowners looking at Sussex County comparables run into:
1. THE SIMPLE COMPS: Your Sussex County home is part of an area that’s more uniform than not, in a neighborhood where there are a sufficient number of similar houses to have produced several sales recently. Your street may not be part of a literal development with models that have near-duplicate floor plans—but the area is, in general, homogenous. When it comes to selling your Sussex County home, you’re in luck!
2. THE NOT-SO-SIMPLE COMPS: AKA, the incomparable situation. Your area home is one of a kind, almost totally unlike any other in the neighborhood (two bedrooms, six-and-a-half baths) or unlike any other in any neighborhood (who else has a swimming pool built into the attic?). All right, maybe your house isn’t quite that weirdly incomparable, but it’s still the case that no similar home has sold within a 5-mile radius within the last year or two. When it comes to selling your Sussex County home, you may still be in luck—but not because of ‘the comps’!
When your property falls into the first category, one whole part of your selling situation becomes a piece of cake because of the comparables. Sussex County comparables from previous sales make the ultimate, convincing case that your home has at least $X value, because the market says so. In writing. Real people have plunked down their hard-earned dollars as proof. Even better, real banks have backed them up with their also very real dollars. It’s all verifiable in the public records.
When your property falls into the second category, in terms of the comparables for our town, it really doesn’t matter if you have the most attractive house or the best bells and whistles and bathroom renovations that will take a buyer’s breath away. If no other home within a reasonable distance has sold with a reasonable period (say, six months) that are close to the same size as yours, or if none has anything like similar features, you and your Realtor® are going to be pretty much on your own even settling on a listing price. Here’s a few lesser known reasons why paying attention to comparables is important when selling your home.
· Unique amenities won’t always guarantee a higher comparable value. If the amenities are unusual for Sussex County, it might make it that much more difficult to find enough comparables in your area to come up with a listing price.
· School districts factor heavily into value. You might have grumbled about paying school taxes if you aren’t sending your own children off to school, but the quality of the school district has a large influence on comparables.
· Scarcity of housing inventory in your neighborhood can be either an advantage or disadvantage. It’s a plus if the housing inventory is low due to high demand (there will be enough recent sales information to set an accurate listing price). It’s a negative if scarcity occurs because no one is buying nearby homes—and appraisers will find it more difficult to place a value on the property.
It’s my job to get your home the best offers in the shortest amount of time for either category of Sussex County comparables. Give me a call—regardless of which one yours falls into, we’ll discuss how we can produce results that are truly incomparable! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestate.com.