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What is blue ribbon real estate?

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Blue ribbon real estate refers to a property that is in fantastic condition, to the point that it looks brand-new. Blue ribbon real estate does not refer to brand new construction. It refers specifically to homes that have been cleaned and maintained sufficiently enough that they are as appealing as a new home.

Other terms similar in meaning include “mint condition” or “turn-key ready,” which both imply a home’s nearly-new condition.

Buyers may be drawn to blue ribbon homes because they don’t require many (if any) repairs or upgrades. Because they have the appearance of newness, these properties may even sell at or above the asking price (depending on market conditions). In an especially competitive market, homes in blue-ribbon condition may give sellers an edge against “comps” — homes of a similar size and age in the area.

What is blue-ribbon condition in real estate?

In real estate, blue ribbon condition refers to homes that are in such good condition as to appear brand new.

Buyers may be more likely to purchase a home in blue-ribbon condition if it doesn’t require any cosmetic changes, and may therefore be able to take possession with a shorter closing period. While blue-ribbon homes are not considered new builds, they may be easier to find in newer neighborhoods. Alternatively, homes being sold by the original owner could be more likely to be in blue-ribbon condition.

Where does the term come from?

Blue ribbons are a common symbol of quality. Many local fairs or other competitions award blue ribbons to prize winners in various categories, from livestock competitions to pie baking contests or sports and art events. Traditionally, a blue ribbon would represent the award for highest achievement or quality.

So in real estate, “blue ribbon” equates to a property in the highest tier of condition, short of being new construction.

What other terms are equivalent to blue-ribbon condition?

A home that is in blue-ribbon condition might also be referred to as being in mint condition, indicating it has minimal imperfections or issues, although it is not necessarily unused.

Some people might also refer to blue ribbon homes as being in “turn-key condition” or “turn-key ready.” This terminology refers to the fact that the new owners won’t have to do anything to get the home ready to live in. All they have to do is turn the key on the front door.

“Move-in condition” or “move-in ready” is yet another phrase that’s synonymous with blue-ribbon condition.

How do you get a home in blue ribbon condition?

To get a home into blue ribbon condition, you might need to ensure it is up-to-date in style or design, have fresh paint and carpets and ensure no repairs are outstanding. The latest in fixtures and features such as appliances, central heating and air systems or water heaters could lend a home blue-ribbon status.

Before listing a home in this condition, take photos: They will best represent the home if the rooms are devoid of clutter and styled effectively. A good staging company can help with this, highlighting the positive attributes and making your home look more inviting. Homeowners may also need to do a deep cleaning of the home or hire professional cleaners to achieve the turn-key or blue-ribbon level of quality.

Dedicated sellers might even get a home inspector to view the home to identify potential issues. This will give them the opportunity to repair those problems before potential buyers view the home, allowing the sellers to present the home in its best possible condition to the market.

Written by
TJ Porter
Contributing writer
TJ Porter is a contributing writer for Bankrate. TJ writes about a range of subjects, from budgeting tips to bank account reviews.
Edited by
Senior homeownership editor