Learn Why Split Level Homes Are Harder to Sell – Expert advice

Selling houses, no matter which type, can be very difficult in a real-estate market that is so competitive. There are always better deals and customers take their time before settling on a house. It can be even more difficult if you’re trying to sell a split-level home. Let’s take a look at why split level homes are harder to sell. 

With time split-level homes have gone down in popularity and they seem backdated to many. The number of stairwells, age of the house, lower curb appeal, less natural light, etc. all add to the cons of getting a split-level house. This is why customers are uneasy when it comes to buying one. 

However, if you have ever sold anything at all before, you will know that what matters most is how you market your product. Difficulties in selling houses can be very subjective. If you can manage to present these “problems” as being advantages then you will have no trouble selling your split-level home. Check out exactly how you can market your split-level home effectively. 

Reasons Split-Level Houses Are Harder to Sell

Split-level homes were all the rage back in the 1950s-1970s. This was during the times of the Baby Boom after World War Two and people were looking for more bedrooms in their houses. 

Split-level homes came to the rescue, providing these larger families with lots of rooms and privacy without taking up too much yard space. People could build more rooms without worrying about paying for more space. And so, split-homes were very popular. 

But as people’s economic conditions improved, the faults started to show and people became less tolerant of the drawbacks split level homes came with. Here are some of the most important drawbacks: 

Many Staircases

Most split-level houses are divided with the use of staircases often leading into an upper bedroom level and a lower garage or recreation or basement level with the living area and dining in the middle level. Living in such a house would undoubtedly mean that you’d be climbing up and down stairs every day. 

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All these stairs can often make the house look congested and suffocating. The stairs take away from the little space these houses have, and a lot of customers do not like this kind of design. 

Floor Plan Feels Awkward

With certain split homes, the floor plan can often look a bit iffy. Due to space constraints, you might have your kitchen on one level and your living room on another level. This makes it inconvenient for people to carry out daily activities like eating and cooking and just hanging out in the living area. 

Your house might even be divided in weird ways with some bedrooms on the middle floor or the floor below and some above. No clear space distinction can be a no-no for many potential house owners.

Split Level Homes Are Outdated

Aesthetics are a huge factor when it comes to buying or selling a house. The first thing people look at is the overall feel of the house. Since split-level homes were popular in the past, a lot of people might feel that these houses are old-fashioned. 

If you are buying a new house, why would you go for something that looks old and outdated? And as a matter of fact, a lot of these houses are really old because split-level houses are not built that often nowadays unless they are custom plans. As a result, these houses might have old plumbing systems and electrical systems which can be costly to fix or replace. 

Less Light and Wind Sources

Since most split-level houses were designed to look like single-floor houses from the front, they usually end up having windows only in the front and sometimes the back. You will often find no windows on the sides and the bottom floors. 

This can make the end rooms feel very dark and gloomy. And especially if you plan on using the bottom floors as rooms or recreation centers, and not as a basement or storeroom, they can be very suffocating and dreary. There are fewer natural light sources coming in and little ventilation.

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These are some of the reasons why your split-level home might not be selling. All these factors combined with how split homes are perceived ward off any potential buyers you might have. But fret not, you can use these reasons to your advantage and still sell your home.

Tips On Selling Your Split-Level Home

Learning about all these reasons might have scared you off. You might be thinking there’s no hope of selling your split-level home anymore. But don’t worry. All you need is smart thinking, and you can sell these cons as pros. It’s all just a matter of perspective. 

The main feature of a split-level house is the number of staircases. The thought of climbing so many stairs regularly can get scary and overwhelming. But you can reassure your customers that this isn’t necessarily true. Here are some tips on selling your split level homes: 

Reassure your customer about the stairs 

A typical two-story house will usually have many more stairs in a single staircase. In split-level homes, the staircases are much shorter with only about 4 or 5 steps in each of them. So, they would be climbing on fewer steps per staircase. The steps are also usually shorter because the house itself is smaller. So, these are much easier to climb especially for elders. 

Plus, a daily run up and down a few stairs is a great way to incorporate movement into your lifestyle. This makes just walking around in your home much healthier. 

Promote the concept of increased privacy 

The staircases also allow for different sections to the house, which in turn makes the floor plan slightly awkward. But this means greater privacy for each level. If your kitchen and living area are in two separate rooms, then someone could be working quietly in the kitchen without disturbing people in the living area and vice versa. 

The different levels also allow you to create separate office spaces or private areas for a workout or even a recreational center in the basement level. And since there are usually no windows or light sources down there, you could sell this as the perfect game room or even a home studio.

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Since the basement is so closed off, you can blast music or even soundproof the bottom level. This way sound from the lower levels won’t reach the top and people can have fun below without disturbing people upstairs in the bedrooms or even the neighbors. 

Add more windows to your home 

You can easily fix the light source problem by simply adding more windows. If your house just isn’t selling, you could try a slight makeover. 

Though the construction costs of adding windows might be higher, in the long run, this might make your house look better and brighter and hence sell easier. 

Renovate your home

If you want to spend a little more money on the house, then you could renovate. Since a lot of these houses were built in the 70s, you could renovate and add a modern touch to the house. This will greatly enhance your split-level home’s overall aesthetic. 

And if you don’t want to spend that money yourself, you could convince your customer that this house is a great way to showcase their creativity. You can easily customize and renovate these homes to suit your specific needs and it can be a great passion project. 

They can even hire interior decorators to give their home a modern twist. There are plenty of images and ideas online for beautiful split-home decor. Showcase the potential and show your customers how good this house can look. With just the right advertising, you will be on your way to selling your split house. 


You can now use the reasons why split level homes are harder to sell to your advantage. With the correct framing and advertising, you can change your customer’s perspective on the cons of split homes. When you know how to sell, your split home will sell out in no time. Thanks for giving this article a read and I hope it was of help to you in selling your property.