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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Mon Valley Providers Council Human Services Center Corporation: The Sales Agreement
- New York State Department of State: Property Condition Disclosure Statement
- State of Ohio Department of Commerce: Residential Property Disclosure Form
- State of North Carolina Residential Property and Owners' Association Disclosure Statement: Instructions to Property Owners
- Nevada Real Estate Division: Seller's Real Property Disclosure Form
- MSN Real Estate: Find a Superstar Real-Estate Agent
- Bankrate.com: How to Choose a Real Estate Agent
- Realtor.com: Code of Ethics
- Austin Board of Realtors: Advertising Rules
- HGTV: 15 Secrets of Home Staging
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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