Suppose your Lewes, DE home is an oddball? It may be a terrific residence, but there’s no denying that it just doesn’t fit in very well with the feel of the neighborhood. In Lewes, DE, we have a reasonably eclectic mix of architectural styles, so it’s unusual to come across a house that stands apart as decidedly out of place.
If your own Lewes, DE home is one of those oddball properties, when it comes to selling it, that might not necessarily be such a bad thing. At least that’s the verdict reached by reporter Katy McLaughlin after she was assigned by the Wall Street Journal to investigate the fate of unique homes in today’s market. Are they harder or easier to sell? Do they bring premium prices—or discounts?
A less than stellar example is the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired mansion that awaits a buyer in the Savannah, Georgia neighborhood. Buyers in California or Arizona would probably leap on the 6,595 square-foot home, but in its current neighborhood, buyers are nearly unanimous in preferring “Gone With the Wind” style homes.
Builders are familiar with the social pressure that can result when they try to construct homes with a design too far afield from the neighborhood norm. One builder got pushback “even from friends” when he agreed to design a chateau-style home in his Santa Fe neighborhood.
Despite such headwinds, it turns out that selling results can be mixed. It may take longer to sell an outlier, but the final selling prince can reward patience. By definition, such properties defy classification—but one way to predict their selling performance is to identify them by the adjectives used in their listings. These are some Zillow-tallied results:
“unusual” – 3 days longer on market than comparable properties
“unique” — 7.5 days longer
“quirky” — 11 days faster!
“avant-garde”— 24 days longer