In this article we are going to talk a little more about what you should think about if you plan to sell a vacation property.
In this article we are going to assume that you do not live in your property. All the advice I give is valid if you live in it as well but then you have to disregard travel related advice.
Visiting the property
The first thing you should do if you want to sell your property is to visit the property. I recommend allowing at least a week for this. During this week you should inspect the house careful and see what you can do to make it more presentable and easier to sell. Some small investments can often result in a considerable higher sale price. You should do all that is possible to provide exactly what the buyer needs. What this means can vary from area to area. People are not looking for the same in a mountain cottage as they do in the beach house. You want the buyer to be able to picture himself spending his vacations or retirement in the house.
Fix all the little things that is wrong in the house before you put it on the market. Things that you should always check (and fix) before you put a house on the market includes:
- Does all the electric outlets and switches work in the house. No one wants to start out be redoing the electrics. It indicates that there might be other hidden problems as well.
- Do any of the water taps or shower heads drip. Make sure that there are no indications that there might be any problem with the WC system at all.
- Is the tile and grout in the kitchen and bathroom clean. Re-grouting only takes a few hours and can make an old kitchen/bathroom feel new again.
- What about the floors. They can also be re-grouted to make them feel never. Make sure to wax them to give them extra shine before you put the house on the market.
- How does the wood look in the house. Does it need to be re-stained or touched up.
- How does the paint look. Does it look new? If not you should consider re-painting. It is an easy way to make a house look to be in better condition and an easy way to increase sales price. Make sure that the paint looks good every where and that there are no worn or flaking spots.
- What color is the house and the different rooms. If your house is an unusual color then you stand to gain a lot by painting it a more normal color. White houses generally sells for higher prices then any other house. There might however be regional differences that makes another color a better choice.
- Does the doors open and close easily without squeaking? If not you should fix that.
- Does the house have a garden. How does the garden look. Is it well pruned and well cared for. A nice garden make a vacation house a lot easier to sell. Make sure that furniture etc is in good shape. It is better to show no lawn furniture than bad furniture.
- Do you have a pool. Is it clean and in good condition?
- How good is the street appeal. Is there anything you could do to make it more welcoming to potential buyers
- Is the house well staged?
The two most important rooms in the house is the kitchen and the bathroom. Make sure they look as good as possible. If you are unable to do anything else you should at-least look at these two rooms.
Sell the house yourself or use a broker?
Both options have their benefits. A broker will allow you to sell it fast but will charge a commission. The broker will also arrange showings so you do not have to visit the house for showings. Inter marketplaces have however made it rather easy to sell the house yourself and if you are willing to do the work then you can save a lot of money this way. Always use a lawyer to draft the purchase contract and to make sure that the sale is completed correctly.
In most cases I would recommend using a broker if you do not live in the country since that is easier and more effective.
Meet the buyer
This might be a little bit controversial but I recommend that you always meet or talk to the buyer in person even if you use a broker. This is due to the fact that a low number of brokers will try to earn a bigger payday by negotiating one price with the buyer and another with the seller. Pocketing the difference.