Selling a house is a complex process – one with many layers. But selling a home on the water comes with its own set of challenges.
You’ve still got to go through the standard procedures of finding the right real estate agent, pricing the house to sell, staging the property, and preparing for appraisals, inspections, and showings.
But when you’re dealing with waterfront properties, those procedures have many layers. Here are some things to think about when you’re ready to sell your home on the water.
Find a Qualified Waterfront Specialist
When it comes to selling a house on the water, you need a real estate agent specializing in selling waterfront properties. These qualified agents have a deep understanding of bridge heights, depths, and canal widths as well as potential property setbacks.
Your experienced waterfront specialist can help you understand some of the water rules and regulations, such as boat speed limits that change throughout the seasons.
Additionally, there are local codes and zoning that you’ll need to understand when buying your waterfront home, and your real estate agent can help you there, too.
Furthermore, your agent will help you price your house to sell quickly and for the most money, guide you in preparing your house for inspections and appraisals, advise you on staging, devises a marketing plan for selling your waterfront home, shows your property to potential buyers, helps you review and negotiate contracts, and represents your best interest throughout the process.
Preparing the Waterfront House for Sale
Before you list the waterfront property for sale, you should make sure that everything is in good order. If the dock needs repair, fix it before listing. If the waterfront is cluttered, clear the area.
Check for chipped paint, rusty fixtures, or other water damage to the exterior of the property. Remember, you’re selling the lifestyle, not just the house, so the waterfront must look clean, well maintained, and ready for recreation.
Inside the home, make sure all the major systems and appliances are in working order, and that the structure, such as roofing, are in good shape. During the inspection and appraisal, any problems with the home will be revealed, which could hinder your sale.
An appraiser will also inspect the home to assess its current market value. Appraisers typically work in $500 increments, so small upgrades and improvements can add perceived value to your home. Such updates include replacing window screens, electrical socket covers, light switch covers, doorknobs, shutters, and screen doors.
Staging Your Waterfront Property for Sale
When you’re listing a waterfront home for sale, you’re selling a lifestyle as much as the house. The house must look move-in-ready, warm, and inviting.
Declutter, depersonalize, and pack what you can, including furniture you won’t need before your move so that the home doesn’t appear dark and stuffy.
Paint the walls in soft, neutral colors, and make sure the floors are in good condition.
Thoroughly clean everything, or hire a cleaning service. Clean sells.
Make sure the windows are clean and streak-free, with any window coverings wide open to show off the views.
Your waterfront specialist real estate agent can advise you on things both big and small that you can do to dress your waterfront home for success.
Pricing Your Waterfront Home for Sale
Pricing any house for sale can be tricky, but when you’re dealing with luxury or waterfront properties, there is a multitude of things to consider when deciding on a price for your waterfront home.
First, your waterfront specialist will provide you with a comprehensive market analysis, or a CMA, which is data regarding recently sold homes in your area that have similar features to yours.
The information includes the original asking price, the final sales price, the number of times the price was reduced, and how long the property sat on the market before selling.
The CMA is important to you because it gives you a jumping-off point, an idea of what buyers are willing to pay in your area’s current market. If you price too high above that number, your house may linger on the market, at which point it could develop a stigma. And, of course, if you price too low, you’ll sell quickly but for far less profit.
Another option to consider when pricing your waterfront house for sale is to obtain a pre-appraisal. This appraisal is for your purpose only and cannot be used for the buyer or lender, but it does give you a realistic idea of your home’s current value.
Full Disclosure Regarding Your Property
If your home has suffered any type of damage from the elements such as high winds, heavy rains, or natural disasters, you’re legally obligated to disclose this information to potential buyers. This includes any insurance claims filed for the property.
To offset the effects of revealing previous damage, assemble all of your paperwork about warranties, receipts for renovations, or a list of the improvements you’ve made to the property during your ownership.
When you’re ready to sell your waterfront home, connect with a qualified real estate agent who specializes in selling waterfront properties.
Prepare the waterfront area, the exterior of the structure, and stage the inside so that potential buyers feel welcome and comfortable enough to envision themselves living in the space.
Work with your agent carefully to strategically price your house for sale using data gathered in a comprehensive market analysis. Price your house in the sweet spot so it sells quickly and for the highest return possible.
If your agent is not already equipped with the cameras or software to create a stunning virtual tour of your property, then consult with a professional photographer and/or video tour company to produce top-notch visuals for buyers to view.
Be prepared to fully disclose any previous issues with the house, but then offset that with a list of upgrades or home improvements that have added value to the property.
Ask your real estate agent any questions you may have about selling your waterfront home.
Have Questions? Ask The Howland Group
The Howland Group is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give them a call today at (954) 755-7011 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.