mhaus, Both Buyer and Seller in 97210

How hard is it to sell an updated 3 bedroom 2 bath house that is next to a busy highway provided that it sits?

Asked by mhaus, 97210 Mon Jun 2, 2008

on a double lot surrounded by mature trees, set further in and higher off the ground and road. Does the landscape make any difference at all? It is also 15 min to downtown, 10 min to NW23rd and the Pearl.

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mhaus, Both Buyer And Seller, 97210
Fri Jun 6, 2008
Thank you for your responses. I really appreciate the feedback. My house, a good size craftsman is one of those few houses situated on Highway 30 (urgh!). There are lots of trees.. Forest Park is literally our backyard! My husband and I are both city folks so the novelty of living in such lush greenery was what attracted us to this property but it is wearing off slowly but surely. We are in the process of starting to 'fix up' our property in order to sell soon. Generally what would be worth to fix up in order to add relevant value?

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Carla Muss-J…, , Portland, OR
Thu Jun 5, 2008
As an Exclusive Buyer's Agent, it can be summed up easily. What are my clients looking for in a property, and does it have more of their "wants and needs" then not/

These types of property flaws can't be alleviated to perfection -- you can't move the highway! And because some people don't like the "white noise" that can occur being too close to a major thoroughfare, they won't like the home for this reason alone. If the sound of the traffic is absorbed by the mature trees, landscape and set back, perhaps you can advertise it as honestly as you can. "Sits near freeway, but noise is buffered." If the price is right, you'll get buyers to look. What buyers don't seem to care for are the listings that have a clear and present . . . negative. Omitting it is almost like sweeping the dirt under the carpet. Get it out there! Talk about it in your listing. The buyers that will come out to tour and will be serious about this property. Withholding this information, although it's not a disclosure item, might make buyers walk away disappointed and/or annoyed. Why? Because they've just toured a home that looked and sounded better in print! Of course, we do have mapping options available to us, and most of the tours I put together I use this, and if my clients has stated "I do not want to be near a freeway," there wouldn't be much I could do to show your listing. But . . . if your listing verbiage countered the negative -- honestly -- and the rest of the property fit my client's preferences, I would consider including it in our tour!

Hope that helps!

Carla E. Muss-Jacobs, ABR, CEBA, e-PRO
Your Exclusive Buyers Agent!
EBA Portland, LLC
14845 SW Murray Scholls Dr., #110-518
Beaverton, OR 97007
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Chris Suarez, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Jun 3, 2008
It sounds to me as if you have enough positives to outweigh the negative of the highway. Everyone values location when it comes to real estate...however it sounds like a pretty nice location if the home is in a close-in NW neighborhood.

Proximity to the highway will definitely turn off some buyers...and yet there are those buyers who will definitely look for a "deal" and may be more price point sensitive and select your home over the next one. I will say by experience, that a lot of out of state buyers will overlook proximity to highways. Originally from NY myself, I have many East Coast buyers that will overlook freeway/street noise especially if you can use landscape to hide "the view". Marketing obviously plays a key role as well... especially when trying to reach the pool of buyers that wont balk at the highway.

I'd love to see the home and offer some more opinions...Feel free to contact me if I can help!

Chris Suarez
Realty Trust Group Inc.
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Dirk Knudsen, Agent, Hillsboro, OR
Tue Jun 3, 2008

The Freeway poses a problem to the overall value and you have to know that it could as much as double your time to sell. It is akin to being on big POwerlines or adjacent to a really busy commercial site.

The more trees and shrubs the better.

There is a buyer for every home. It is just a matter of marketing, price, and time to sell!

Let me know if we can help. You are very close to my office.


Dirk Knudsen
Re\Max Hall of Fame
#1 Rated Re\Max Team in Oregon
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Elisha Joyce, , Portland, OR
Tue Jun 3, 2008
Whenever a Buyer is comparing a home that sits on a "busy" street with one that is on a less traveled street, one will always lean towards the less traveled street if all things are equal. However, every property is completely unique and, if you have amenities (i.e. double lot, sit high off the street, beautiful landscaping/screening, and interior updating that is classic and charming) that win out over a "quieter" location, your location may not be that big of an issue IF the price you're asking reflects the compromise of location.

I always tell my buyers and sellers that it isn't that it's "hard" to sell a home in a less desirable spot - it is simply that you'll have fewer potential eyes looking your way (since many will outright rule out a home based on location alone). With that said, I go back to my earlier point: if you are competitive in price, and, for the price point you beat out your competition with your amenities and upgrades, you have a better chance at moving with the normal pace of things.

:) Elisha
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Deb Counts-T…, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Jun 3, 2008
Landscaping will certainly make a difference on any home, but especially one with freeway challenges. Bigger trees and bushes can act as sound barriers and more importantly as visual barriers. It won't completely mitigate the problem, though, and your Realtor should be counseling you to price accordingly and/or be prepared for more days on market.

Best of luck!

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