Two weeks ago, I had a young lady call me randomly. They had been interviewing realtors to sell her spouses parents’ home. Nothing uncommon in the real estate world. What was uncommon was the home was accessible. She told me the last realtor that they had interviewed had told them they would be better off tearing the accessible features out of the home, remodeling it back to a non-accessible home, and then selling it. When she called, one of her first questions was is there a market for accessible homes in the Portland metro area? To which I answered there definitely is. I could hear a sigh of relief over the phone.
Her family members had bought a home and completely remodeled it to be accessible to her mother in-laws’ power wheelchair. I have been in a lot of accessible homes and this was one of the nicer ones. A roll in shower, a walk in bath tub, sinks with room to pull a wheelchair underneath, wide hallways, wide doors, and ramps at each entrance. They had gone all out to make this home as livable and accessible as possible. The home owner was now in an adult home foster care and they needed to sell. Hearing that there was no market for such a home was beyond frustrating.
Most realtors have no idea of the shortage of well planned accessible homes. With that they think there’s no market and it will be next to impossible to sell. It is sad how far from the truth this is.
Selling something that has a small market just takes a different type of marketing plan. You see, with most homes you’re trying to get as many people as possible to see the home. With an accessible home you still want to get as many eyes on it as possible but you also want to strategically market to the specific demographic of people that really need everything that home has to offer. And those people are out there!
Most realtors don’t understand the types of accommodations different disabilities require, making it hard to find the right market as they don’t fully understand who is within it. Those with disabilities value aspects of homes differently. While they still consider the aesthetically pleasing aspects of a home, they are more concerned with answering the questions “will I be able to live within this home” and “can I achieve my daily tasks in this home”.
The selling of the home that’s being featured in this article was a huge success because we were able to find the right market. In five days, we had multiple offers. In 15 days, the home was sold to a family needing exactly what this home had to offer. Accessibility!
If you or someone you know has an accessible home selling or buying issue, please reach out to me. There is no greater joy in my career then helping other people in wheelchairs solve their housing needs. I have strategies to help anyone with an accessible housing issue country wide.