A marketing challenge for some local sellers is to overcome the buyer’s apprehension about buying an older home.
This is a concern because most homes in Northeast Tennessee are of a certain age, while many buyers want something 10 years or younger. More than half (58%) of homes in the Johnson City metro area, which has three counties, are over 20 years old.
In the Kingsport-Bristol metropolitan area, which has four counties, the share of homes 20 years and older is 69%.
There is nothing wrong with older homes, especially those that have received loving care. They form the basis of the region’s housing stock. And there are many examples of old houses that are not out of fashion. Look at it this way, a 30-year-old home with three-year-old components is generally more marketable than a 15-year-old home that has suffered a lot of cuts around the corner during upgrade or maintenance.
But that said, there are some things antique home sellers should consider. Various marketing suggestions and improvements can be explored, but for this report, let’s focus on just one.
Some sellers welcome serious buyers with a copy of a CLUE report to help move the process forward. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know what an INDEX is. Many owners are surprised that it comes out or is entitled to a copy.
A CLUE looks a lot like a CarFax
Here’s how the folks at the National Association of REALTOR’S HouseLogic website explain it:
“A tree falls on the roof of your house. You file an insurance claim with your agent, collect a settlement from the insurer, and fix your roof. End of story, right? Every claim you make on your home insurance is logged in an insurance industry database called CLUE, “an acronym for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange.
Almost all insurance companies use CLUE to check the claim history of potential policyholders. The CLUE insurance report also includes claims made on your home before you buy it. The data of each incident remains in the CLUE file for seven years. LexisNexis, owner of CLUE and A-PLUS, are the primary contacts for loss history databases. “The content of CLUE reports can affect a homeowner’s insurance premiums, or even prevent them from obtaining coverage,” according to HouseLogic.
The logic behind using the database begins with the assumption that if a person has filed complaints in the past, they are more likely to file more in the future. Thus, the frequency of claims receives more attention than the amount of claims, because insurers want to predict the risk of future claims.
Keeping an eye on the CLUE Personal Property Report is a straightforward process. It’s a bit like getting a copy of your credit report. And federal law gives consumers the right to one free CLUE report per year, just like a credit report.
According to HouseLogic’s report on CLUE, knowing what’s on your report will give you an idea of whether you’ll need to pay extra for homeowner’s insurance, or even if you run the risk of being rejected. Another growing use is to offer it to reassure buyers looking for older homes.