Navigating around the “Fatal Flaw”

Vicki Aubry, Realtor, ABR, SRES, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. 508-868-3625 (mobile)

Why are so many homes selling the minute they hit the market – and some over asking price? And others sit on the market for months even in spring market? One reason is the ability to see the flaws in your home and price it accordingly!

There is a lot of hype about the things that buyers want in their homes – hardwood floors, updated kitchens and baths, finished lower levels, central air conditioning …. the list goes on. However, if sellers have not adjusted their home for what I call the “Fatal Flaw,” it may not sell at the price they are asking.

I define a “Fatal Flaw” as something that is not easily changed which affects the value in a negative way by some amount and is a road block to the sale.

So, about now you are saying “What the heck are you talking about, Vicki?” Right?

Flaws that negatively impact values include:


Busy roads

These days, homes can be viewed on the internet with tools such as Google Earth so the days of buyers getting to the home to only then find out about a busy road are fast coming to an end. They are viewing the entire location and the surrounding location and can see these types of things. Also, some applications show how much traffic the road gets at different times of day.


Too close to power lines

Similar to busy roads, power lines will not be moved any time soon, so inheriting them may not be something a buyer wants to do. There have also been studies on how much radiation really comes off high-tension wires – and it might not be as much as people think but perception is reality, isn’t it? Not to mention they are not the most pleasant to look at.


Steep driveways

In New England snow will eventually arrive and skidding down the driveway is not the best way to start one’s day. Also, those with small children may not want their kids trying to navigate the grade. On a sunny summer day it may not be in the forefront of a buyer’s mind, but it will be once the leaves turn color in the fall.


Small back yard

Even those folks downsizing want a modest yard in which to sit out in the summer and to entertain, or to let the dog out or play with the grandkids. Homes where the entire yard are landscaped with mulch and plantings may be easy care and lovely to look at but most people still want some lawn.

Well, there are people living in all these homes, you say, so they must sell, right?

Of course they do! The solution is to determine the true value of your home taking into account your fatal flaw. That means looking at other homes that have sold with the same issue and what discount those homes took from other similar homes that didn’t have the fatal flaw.  In a good market the discount may not be as much as you thought but in a tough market for sellers you will really need to dig deep. Pricing is such a tricky thing and is best handled by an agent that knows how to compensate for flaws and come up with the right pricing.

If you need help pricing your home realistically, just give me a call and let me put my 20 plus years of experience work for you! I would love to help you… “out!”


Vicki Aubry


Mobile: 508-868-3625

Voicemail Pager: 508-365-4060

Email: [email protected]