Home Selling in 40272>Question Details

Ben627, Home Owner in Louisville, KY

Bi-Levels/Tri-Levels - Why are they so hard to sell compared to Ranches and 2 Stories? Best way to showcase them?

Asked by Ben627, Louisville, KY Wed Sep 4, 2013

What is the best way you have found to market bi-level / tri-levels? I've heard it is much harder to sell a bi-level even though they have 2000 sq. ft because of customer preferences. What are your thoughts on previous bi-level sales that made it more appealing?

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I would recommend you contact a realtor. There are several on here that post info. Or if you wish, you can always go the Louisville Board of Realtors website below:

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 4, 2013
Prejudice! There is NOTHING wrong with a bi or tri level house. I arrived "off the boat" from a foreign country 23 years ago. My wife and I found our little piece of heaven (very little it turned out - we were divorced within a year!! :) ) in a great community where some of the houses were bi and tri levels. Ours was a bi-level. I loved it! I think a bi level is way preferable to a 2 story home as the up/down stairs are halved. Only after I became a realtor was I told that I'd bought a "bad" house. Fiddle sticks!

Bi and tris got a bad name, I'm told, because its a cheaper way to build - you can put more sq ft under a smaller roof for less money. They have fallen out of favor and you hardly ever see a new one. Modern designs call for different floor plans.

I very recently sold a tri-plex on the Plainview / Douglass Hills border. I made a point during my open houses of emphasising the way the entertaining areas are separated so kids and adults can have their own separate spaces, divided by steps / door. More privacy. And other features of tris are great. And here's the thing - the vast majority of people said how much they liked the house and the layout.

Here's how I described it

" Charming 2,600 Sq Ft home is last home in Douglass Hills at Plainview juncture. Unique and cleverly architectured open floor plan with impressive vaulted ceiling and gorgeous yard. Multiple floor to ceiling banks of windows flood home with natural light. 4 Bedrooms, 3 baths. New Roof, new high efficiency HVAC, new hot water heater, all in 2011; freshly painted 2010. Oh, and try to beat this: see our average monthly utility bill in the attachments section! Basement refinished in 2012. Imaginatively planted, lush, private, lovingly cared for gardens and yard create your secluded get-a-way. Hardwood floors in part of home. Great view from master bedroom with convenient attached master bathroom. Shaded deck off first floor overlooks private back yard; Patio off lower level living room leads directly to back yard. Call for appointment today."

We had multiple offers - it was a winner! The only reason we did not get a much better price was because it had no garage and no real way of making one. But considering the lack of garage we got as good a price as anyone else in that neighborhood. And when I arranged the photos, I showed how convenient it was to have the rooms on different levels.

Don't let anyone brow beat you - you have a nice,practical home.
Web Reference: http://www.metro1realty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 4, 2013
Hi Ben,
The answer in a word is steps. Many times people choose a ranch to have most of their living space on the first floor. Bi-level homes have the stair case at the entry way making climbing the stairs unavoidable. Sometimes these homes feel dated. They really show 1970. Updating other areas of the home can help. Keep in mind there is a buyer for every home. You were attracted to the home, someone se will be too.
Web Reference: http://marybethsells.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 4, 2013
Most bi & tri level homes I've seen are typically older homes. That means updates are more important than ever to keep them competitive with newer homes. The extra space is definitely a plus, but some buyers can see that style layout as a negative. Be sure to make the home flow as well as possible, creating a specific purpose for each space. Make sure it is updated, clean and decluttered. If its priced correctly & shows well I don't think this is going to break a sale.
Web Reference: http://www.rjsrealtors.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 4, 2013
If a buyer is looking for a newer home a bi-level can be a challenge. Even if the entire inside of the home has been renovated, it still seems dated because of the floor plan.
There are however, people that dont like an open floor plan. Some people like task specific spaces. Every buyer is different! Don't shy away from any one floor plan. Some clients may think they do or don't like a certain floor plan. Get them in a few different floor plans in the beginning stages of searching.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2014
Steps do come into play. However, I feel overall curb appeal play a large part as well as the flow/layout in these types of homes. It really is on a home by home basis. I have many clients that like these types of homes because they have a more open feel, provide privacy and in some cases the basement serves as a great mother-in-law suite.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 30, 2014
A lot of people do not want to do all the steps on a bi-level
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 31, 2014
Are all the bedrooms on the same level, if so change it to a raised ranch on a bi-level, market a tri or quad level as a multi level home that is great for family gatherings and for entertaining guests.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 3, 2013
The short answer is that it seems less people of any age want steps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 24, 2013

If you would like for me to stop by and take a look at your property and offer some staging suggestions, please let me know. I am but a phone call away!

All the best!


"your best friend who happens to be a Realtor"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 24, 2013
We had a bi-level growing up with 2 parents and 3 wild children and we LOVED it!

It allowed us kids to entertain our friends in the lower level family room and not interrupt my Parents up stairs. Well not too often, that is!

If its been well taken care of, and is somewhat updated, they are a fine home to have! Just need to market toward families or singles that want/need a lot of house for the money!

Empty nesters and more mature buyers may not lean toward a home with stairs due to mobility issues, but the rest of the market if marketed right can and will be potential "buyers"!

If you need anything at all or just need some advice on staging or anything at all, please let me know.

All the best to you and best of luck!

Michael Thacker - Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 7, 2013
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