A few suggestions:
Be totally upfront in the MLS listing and elsewhere regarding the road noise. People who are bothered by the noise won't buy, regardless of how low you price the property. Just like many parents of small children won't buy a house with a swimming pool, regardless of the price. Or some people won't buy a house close to high power lines. Those aren't pricing issues. Those are (real or perceived) safety issues.
So, who's going to buy? Chris is partly right: Someone who isn't bothered by the noise. Someone with a hearing disability. Maybe an older person/couple with a hearing loss. Maybe someone who's lived with a lot of noise before, such as underneath the flight path of a nearby airport. (Side note: When I was in college--in downtown Washington, D.C.--my dorm was 2 blocks from a major hospital--sirens all the time. We were underneath the flight path going into National Airport. Plus, it being an urban setting, there were plenty of regular police sirens. And of course the morning and evening rush hours. Once you get used to it, it doesn't bother you.)
And find the strong points--the selling points--of your property. Location is your best bet. Maybe it's very convenient to get on that nearby highway. Or maybe there are some desirable stores and shops nearby. Lots of people will make trade-offs--30 seconds to get onto a major commuter route versus 10 minutes in a quieter area, for instance.
Analyze the house, the location, and its strengths. Maybe parents of young kids are concerned about safety. But in many areas, there are big sound barriers and other structures that'll keep people safe. If the house and yard are safe--despite its being noisy, make sure you convey that information. Maybe the house is in a great school district. If so (within the limits of what you ethically can do), promote that.
Figure out who the likely purchasers are. Look around the neighborhood--what are the demographics of the neighbors. Then, again (being careful not to "steer"), make sure that your marketing efforts are reaching those folks.
Hope that helps.
If this home possesses 'one of a kind' attributes (noise is not an attribute) that adds to quality of life or even tangible value, your how owner may be better served by waiting for 'the' buyer. I've sold noise homes to folks who never go outside and to those whose outside venture was a plunge in the pool and back inside they went. Some didn't even hear the background noise because of the environment they just left.
The level of the noise is a significant factor. If one can continue a conversation the problem is minor. If however, one must signal a 'time-out' for the train to pass, that would not be minor.
Please, as a last resort, sacrifice the homeowners equity and lower the price.
For the Listing Agent & Home Owner, its Price, Price Price ....
Price is the cure-all for any property ... no matter the condition ...
If staging the property will help, then try that first, however I ultimately believe its always price. You can have a house that is not attractive and still sell it if the price is right! Read Donald Trump's book "Art of the Deal." Price it right and it will sell!
I use to sell cars at one time, we had a saying ,,, there is a butt for every seat! In real estate, I say there is a homeowner for every house!
-- Rod --
Masking the noise is only going to bite you in the butt if you cover it up..... they will find out at some point.
The rule of thumb in real estate sales is there is a buyer for every home. Homes that have negative features often sell for less money. Price reductions may help to attract buyers to your home.
You may try to get the attention of buyers by offering concessions like paying for buyerâ€™s closing costs. Also, offering a buyerâ€™s agent a monetary bonus can encourage agents to show your home who may otherwise pass up your home.
Do everything you can to make your home shine so a buyer will overlook the noise because of the great value in your home. Best wishes in your home selling!
Prudential California Realty
It is always PRICE.
Don't blame the road noise.
It is true that most people don't want a house on a busy street or within sound of a railroad; but we've all sold a lot of homes like that.
Price will overcome ANY objection.
Good luck and may God bless
rule of thumb is that is you have had over 10 showings and no offer, you are overpriced. There is always a buyer for any home but it has to be priced at what they would consider market value. My suggestion would be to lower the price and contact every buyer that viewed the home previously. If you are close to being underwater you may need to consider a short sale.