The Doubled-Edged Sword Called “Potential”

Although you wouldn’t necessarily believe it looking at all the MLS listings with the word “potential” in them, Realtors use the term carefully, if not reluctantly (or at least I do).

That’s for two reasons:

One. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder ” at least to a point (pun intended).

Especially for a multi-family (condo) building with older demographics, a unit that some might label dated might be just perfect for someone nearing retirement, with more “vintage” tastes.

So why concede anything?

Two. You don’t know the Buyer’s budget.

If they can barely afford the home as is, trumpeting all the things that can and should be done to enhance its appeal . . . . just serves to underscore its current deficiencies.

I recall showing a home a few years ago that my Buyers liked just fine ” until the listing agent pointed out how great the home would look with $75k in new dormers.

The upshot?

My Buyer passed, because they felt they couldn’t realize the home’s potential.

See also, “Real Estate Marketing 101: ¬†When to Acknowledge a Home Needs Updating ” & When Not To.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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