Is having a second basement egress actually as important as recent buzz would have you believe? Today, I’ll address this hot topic.

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Spring is here and we’re seeing great buyer activity out there in our market. Many homes are selling above list price, but there certainly are some that are remaining stagnant on the market. The distinction comes down to things like price point, school systems, and location.

For example, homes I’ve got listed that are priced at or above $900,000 are seeing very little activity, while homes I’ve got listed at or under $350,000 are receiving tremendous activity.

But, this isn’t the main point I want to make today. The message I want to share with you is about basement egress windows. To elaborate, an egress window is just a separate way to get out of the basement.

Real estate goes through cycles. In the past, there’s been buzz about asbestos, radon, mold, and more. These days, there’s a lot of talk about homes without a basement egress. Homes without a basement egress have been causing a lot of grief for agents lately.


If you’re a seller, think about this: You’ve got a finished basement. Most likely, you didn’t pull permits from the town. Still, in most municipalities, you’ve got to have a second egress out of the basement beside the stairs. Nevertheless, 90% of people probably don’t have this.

I have sold dozens upon dozens of homes that don’t have a second basement egress. I think it all comes down to an agent’s ability to negotiate. An agent who says you can’t sell a home without a second egress is an agent who can’t negotiate.

Let me tell you a story to illustrate what I mean. Two or three years ago, I spoke with a couple who had just met with another agent. They told me, “Don’t worry, we’ve already put a deposit down on a second egress.” I told them to cancel the contract and that I would sell the house without them putting a window in. They followed my advice, got their home sold, and saved $5,000 in doing so.

This is what Realtors do: We work through problems. If you’re a seller and you have a finished basement, adding a second egress is something to think about. It is certainly beneficial to have one from a safety perspective, and the presence of this feature is something I will always argue for my buyers. However, having one won’t make or break your ability to sell a home.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.