Think selling a waterfront home is a no-brainer? Think again.
We’ve covered general tips for selling a house before, what about selling a waterfront home? While selling a waterfront home has similarities to selling a house say, in the suburbs, there are distinct differences that need to be accounted for. Though waterfront homes are a coveted item for buyers, they don’t just sell themselves. Learn what missteps to avoid (and correct) here!
1. Choosing the Wrong Agent
You’re going to need an agent on your side for this, specifically, one with experience selling and dealing with waterfront homes. Though appraisals aren’t necessarily a must for every home getting ready to enter the market, they are extremely valuable for waterfront homes, particularly because the value of waterfront homes differs so vastly from one home to the next based on their location, amenities and so forth. In light of the overall price of the home and the associated costs that tag along with selling, appraisals should be considered money very well spent.
Agents should conduct a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) in order to determine the value (and, subsequently, the asking price) of the home. Factors that should be included in this assessment include:
- Location (naturally)
- Waterfront size, or the size of the body of water that the property is located on/near.
- Amenities of the property, such as docks, beaches, etc.
- Frontage, the land the bridges the property and the water, or the general amount of land surrounding the property. Agents need to consider the amount of frontage, as well as its condition. Is it available for recreational use? Is it even and easy to traverse, or steep and sloped?
2. Pricing Too High
Waterfront homes will almost always possess a higher value than your average landlocked home. This does not automatically garner an astronomical listing price though! The factors mentioned above will do much to determine what a fair asking price should be, in conjunction with a recent appraisal. People are generally more willing to spend more on waterfront properties, but they also expect a certain amount of amenities and property requirements before doing so. When selling your waterfront home, make sure it lives up to the listing price. If all your property has to offer is a view of the water, it should not be listed alongside the likes of houses with private beaches and docks. Again, appraisals do much to determine the right price from the get-go.
3. Neglecting “Water” Appeal
You’re probably familiar with the term “curb appeal,” and that still applies to waterfront homes. Additionally, however, is “water appeal,” the view of the house from the water. While investing in a clean, tidy house by view of the street is a must, so is investing a picturesque view from the water. Other elements to pay heed to are:
- The condition of docks. Are docks covered in green film? Or are they bright and clean? Are they safe? Do they look inviting?
- “Pristine” shores. Whether it’s just seaweed or literal garbage, both “clutter” shores (And one is bad for the environment, a major no-no when trying to sell your waterfront home!) Make sure shores aren’t littered with big debris that would deter potential buyers.
- Water access. How accessible is the water from your home? Do you have a dock? Can you launch a boat from it? Is the water deep enough? Is there a place for new buyers to lounge or fish?
- Waterfront visibility. This is a big one. Almost all buyers looking for a waterfront home are envisioning themselves waking up to the view — but can they actually see the water from the house? Make sure overgrown shrubs are kept at bay and windows are crystal clear!
4. Lackluster Marketing
An experienced agent will do more than just sell the house, they’ll sell the lifestyle! A waterfront home is a lifestyle, so missing this detail is a major mistake. Listings should include all amenities, whether physical (like docks) or activity-based (such as the fact that the home is conducive to backyard water skiing, for example). They should include descriptions of the view, and the natural beauty. Better yet — they should include pictures of said natural beauty.
Waterfront homes should feature photography or videos of both the home’s interior and exterior, as well as the surrounding property, so that potential buyers, especially those that may be searching for their dream waterfront home from afar, can better visualize all that the property has to offer. Listings should also be advertised via a variety of platforms. A sign in the frontyard won’t cut it, and neither will a solitary listing. In order to get all eyes on your waterfront home, agents should employ multiple strategies via social media, housing web platforms and more.
5. Skipping Important Details
It’s not exactly surprising that waterfront homes can be more susceptible to the elements, and that means flooding. If your waterfront house needs flood insurance, this is a detail that needs to be conveyed early on in the process, and not at the final moment before everyone signs paperwork. Flood insurance on a waterfront home can drastically change the mortgage payments that buyers can expect, so waiting can lead to either lost buyers or major delays at the time of closing. Buyers also need to be made aware of circumstances such as whether or not the property has a holding tank, septic tank or access to public sewers. If the home uses a tank, buyers need to know when it was last pumped.
Selling a waterfront home certainly has its advantages, being as desirable as they are among buyers, and with these tips, selling yours should be relatively stress free!