How to Sell My Beachfront Home

Life's just better at the beach.

Life's just better at the beach.

A house on the beach has a built-in wow factor for some homebuyers, especially during the summer months when the air near the water is cooler than inland locations. Houses that let owners step directly onto the sand offer a special allure. Selecting the right season for making your sales move and preparing your house for prospective buyers means attracting serious house hunters.

Representation

Talk to friends for real-estate agent recommendations. Interview a minimum of three agents with experience in selling in your geographic region -- and specific experience with beach houses. Ask the agents for other recommendations and follow up by talking with several people on the list. Discuss possible ways to market your beach house and the listing price the agent recommends for your home. Call the local board of Realtors for any consumer complaints and select the most impressive agent from your interview pool. You can also sell your house yourself -- "for sale by owner." Going it alone means you handle the pricing, showing, contract details and any required home disclosures. Some real-estate agents in certain beach communities contract in cafeteria-style, fee-for-service arrangements to handle the real-estate details you can't or won't deal with.

Repairs

Before signing the listing agreement, make any major repairs to your home. Invite some of your picky friends to do a walk-through of your home to help identify any obvious problems requiring repairs. If your home hasn't been painted in a long time, pick a nice, neutral color and go for a fresh coat to liven things up. Repair any dripping faucets, wash your windows and clean any blinds or curtains.

Staging

Aside from putting out some beach chairs for potential buyers to try out for size, staging your house for buyers means removing extra furniture, wall decorations and reducing the amount of your clutter featured in your home. You may love your stuff, but the buyers have their own stuff. If the buyers can imagine how their stuff fits perfectly in your home, you've made the sale. The downside of staging is you need to carefully pack items, but the upside is you have fewer things to pack after your house sells.

Promoting

Summer is the season for beach property, especially during heat waves. Promoting your home means taking photographs showing the rooms and any yard and featuring the house in photos with the main attraction -- the beach. Making up sales fliers, without featuring the price, entices buyers to call you or your agent to ask about the price. The contact means you can sell the caller on coming to take a look and experience the beach home.

Contract Agreements

You'll need to sign two major agreements and several property disclosures to sell your beach house. The listing agreement outlines the terms for the sale, including your asking price. If your beach house has a risk for flooding or other major problems, note that information on the state-required home disclosures. Potential buyers might not see eye to eye with you on all the sales contract details. When dealing with offers, focus on what's important -- meaning deal with the big things and get over the small stuff. If you want to move by a certain date, extending that deadline for a full-price offer on your home just might be worth the compromise.

About the Author

*I have written chapters and articles for Oxford and Harvard University Presses, ABC-CLIO, and others. Arcadia Press published two of my local history texts and I have also written for numerous "article sites," including Pagewise in 2002. My "How to become a...real estate agent" is available as an online text from a Canadian publisher. *I taught writing courses at a branch campus of Indiana University. *I held a California real estate license and have remodeled four of my own homes and advised others on financing homes, repairing credit to qualify for loans, and managing construction (including meeting local, state, and federal regulations for restoration and development grants). *I served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer and wrote nearly $75,000 in small education grants (under $1,000). *My travels include frequent road trips in Canada, Mexico, U.S., and Europe. I attended school at Cambridge University and used this as a base to explore the UK and Europe.

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