Key Differences in Selling a Vacation Home
The strategies and logistics of selling a second or vacation home are different from selling your primary residence. To successfully sell a vacation home, remember these key points.
Hire a professional to sell a vacation home
When selling a vacation home that’s far from your primary residence, it’s crucial to hire a professional real estate agent working where the home is located. That agent will know the market, the appeal of your property within that market, and comparable home values. The agent can conduct local showings and handle other logistical needs for you.
Often a second home is in a strong tourism market. A house near a popular beach will appeal to buyers seeking a place for their summer getaway. They may also want to offer it as a short-term rental when they are not there. On the other hand, if the property is not close to big attractions but simply a place you chose because of its proximity to kids and grandkids, its appeal might not be as universal. In setting the sales price, consider how much the house will appeal to buyers.
Setting the right price from the start is crucial when selling any property, but selling a vacation home requires an extra dose of due diligence. As with any property sale, have your agent provide comparable sales prices for similar homes in the area, accounting in particular for features appealing to vacationers.
If the home is in a hot vacation spot and prospective buyers are likely to be using it as a rental property, they will crunch numbers to ensure that they can achieve positive cash flow based on what they pay you for the house. In setting your asking price when selling a vacation home, balance what you want to get from the sale against what a potential investor can pay and still make a profit. Price the home too high, and astute investors will negotiate hard or look elsewhere.
Timing the sale of a vacation home
If the vacation house you’re selling is located near a popular beach community, it might seem best to list it during the summer because so many prospective buyers are visiting the area. But the reality is that it’s difficult for the agent to show the property because it’s likely full of renters most weeks. The same principle applies to listing a winter ski destination property. Generally it’s best to list a vacation home just before or after the peak season. If you must list during peak season, showings must be squeezed in on days between renters.
Know the rules
Savvy buyers will know that homeowner association rules and local short-term rental regulations and taxes are an essential part of owning a rental property. Your agent should be prepared to tackle questions about those issues when you are selling a vacation home.
Digital marketing is a must
When selling a vacation home, make sure the agent you choose is savvy about digital marketing of real estate. A good agent knows that professionally shot digital pictures, virtual tours and listings on major home shopping websites are crucial to reach as many online shoppers as possible. The agent’s online listing of your home should include photos of amenities and local attractions and indicate how close the house is to them. Drone photography that highlights impressive views from the home could be a significant asset to a listing.