Many people invest in second homes to enjoy each summer. For those who are no longer using it often enough to call it a good investment, it’s also the best time to put it on the market. Here are some trade secrets to share with clients to help make selling that second home smooth sailing.
Secret #1: Sell Your Home in Season
Remind clients to sell their vacation homes in the summer, if at all possible. While this may be obvious to real estate professionals, your clients may need some convincing.
July is considered the sweet spot for selling most summer homes since ideal warmer weather is in full swing across the country and vacation season is in full bloom.
Many sellers might prefer to list in the off-season when their summer home is not being used, but that’s not typically when most buyers will be searching. Not surprisingly, most buyers will be doing their shopping for summer homes at the height of the season. This is when they can see the property in action, i.e., get a feel for the area and activities they could enjoy. You can explain that listing in the summer may mean more competition from other sellers, but it can also mean more potential buyers and the possibility of selling faster. If the property is particularly desirable, your clients could have multiple interested buyers and drive up the sale price.
Secret #2: Show The Property at Its Best
This means taking photos of the property during summer. Sunshine, lush green landscaping, full blooms and active wildlife will give their property photos a happy, summertime feel that’s enticing for buyers. If sellers take photos in the off-season, the property could look lack luster, uninspiring — even desolate.
Secret #3: Repair, Maintain and Clean
As with any home listing, the property should be clean, inviting and in good repair. This may require owners to make minor repairs, such as replacing damaged tiles, missing drawer/door hardware and freshening up the home with clean carpets and a new coat of neutral paint. This attention to detail goes for any listing, but may be particularly true for homes that only get occasional, seasonal use. Remind owners to make sure the outside of the property is primed for summertime curb appeal, too. If there is a lawn at the property, owners should plan on having it cut twice a week. Grass seems to grow really fast during the summer so upkeep is especially important at this time of year. If the outside looks neglected, it can make buyers think of the added work a second home can bring. Instead, it should look like an inviting oasis and summer retreat buyers are dreaming of.
Secret #4: Protect Your Listing and Your Buyer’s Investment
Add an American Home Shield® Home Warranty to your summer home listing. An AHS® Home Warranty can help mitigate any unexpected issues from the home inspection to keep the home sale on track. Buyers gain confidence and comfort knowing that an industry leader covers their investment and sellers have less worry while their summer home is on the market. Adding a home warranty is simple, just visit ahshome.com.
Secret #5: Be Ready with Facts and Figures
Have your clients get all their financial information in order. Because many buyers may plan to use the property for themselves and as an investment to defray the cost of ownership, they’ll want to know how much they can expect in rental income. The more detailed and impressive information your clients can provide in terms of cash flow and rates of return, the more appealing their listing will be to potential buyers.
Secret #6: Be Patient
Because your clients are selling a vacation home instead of a primary residence, it may take a little longer to find just the right buyer who enjoys their same pastimes, has the same tastes and priorities in a summer home. For example, if they’re selling a lake house, they need to attract a buyer who loves to fish or go boating rather than someone who’s looking for hiking trails or a beach property. These extra criteria can make selling a summer home even more challenging.
Another thing that may slow down the process is the proximity of the summer home to a buyer’s primary residence. Not everyone who is looking to purchase a summer home wants to fly to their destination. Many families want a vacation home that can be comfortably reached in a matter of hours by driving. This may limit the pool of prospective buyers for your sellers.
Finally, for many buyers, owning a vacation home is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. This means buyers are truly shopping for their dream home. It’s a luxury after all, which could make them even pickier than your typical buyer.
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