10 Things You Must Do Before Selling Your Waterfront Home

Consider these ten tips before selling your Michigan waterfront property

The decision to sell a Michigan waterfront property is a big one. However, most homeowners of a beachfront property assume that the property will sell easily. In Michigan, and in most places really, a waterfront home is categorized as a luxury home, especially if you have a private beach. There are a few things that waterfront homeowners can do to ensure a smooth sales process.

1. Find a qualified real estate agent to sell your Michigan Waterfront Home

It is crucial to find a real estate agent who has experience in selling waterfront and luxury homes. A majority of homeowners think that it is not relevant to hire the best real estate agent when selling a home. A highly reputable real estate agent has more to offer than just placing a sign in the front yard.

An agent has several marketing tools that can help sell your waterfront home faster and at the best price. Furthermore, using aggregator sites, FSBO (for sale by owner) options, or new disruptor sites that charge small commissions will not get sellers the best possible price for their lakeshore property. In fact many times the savings sellers realize are miniscule in comparison to the profit they would have made by hiring a team of experienced real estate experts with a strong web presence, well developed network, and effective marketing plan.

If you are considering your options here, request a home valuation so you can get an accurate starting price for listing your home.

2. Set the right price – start with a detailed home valuation request

It can be highly tempting for you to set the highest price for your waterfront home because of the views. You can talk to your agent and get an idea about the pricing of similar waterfront homes in your area or request a home valuation directly on our website (no pressure or obligations).

We will also highlight the amenities that you have, which add value to your home. Generally, when it comes to waterfront homes, prospective buyers are highly knowledgeable and will avoid overpriced waterfront properties at all costs.

Overpricing your home will make the home sit on the market longer; meanwhile, potential buyers may start to assume something is wrong with the house. Price the house appropriately to get maximum value by attracting the right buyers.

3. Conduct a proactive home inspection

Many times buyers conduct a home inspection as part of their due diligence prior to closing on a purchase. However, you can get ahead of any potential deal breakers by conducting your own inspection prior to listing.

A detailed home inspection is essential for understanding the condition of your waterfront home before putting it up for sale. An inspection report will highlight areas that need minor repairs accompanied by pictures of the same. A credible home inspection report will ease the mind of buyers who are worried about any damage, especially due to water or wind.

4. Do repairs and maintenance (but probably not all yourself)

It is wise to remedy items in need of replacement or repair, but talk to your experienced agent who can help you prioritize or connect with professionals prior to putting the home on the market. The repairs may include a leaky pipe, broken cabinet door or fixing creaking stairs. You can do some maintenance on the house like applying a new coat of paint and thoroughly cleaning the house. You should clean the windows to ensure buyers can enjoy the waterfront views while inside the home. It is also essential to clean the outdoor areas, the lawn, and the waterfront or private beach. You should remove any debris along the waterfront, cut the grass and trim trees that obstruct the view of the water. Many of these basic, yet extremely important steps are outlined in our seller process and will help you to ensure you don’t miss a simple step that could cost you an offer from a qualified waterfront buyer.

5. Organize a Broker Open House

A standard open house may not be advantageous for a waterfront home as the target clients are few in numbers. You can talk to your agent and have an open house for brokers. Your agent should have networks that will help you get interested brokers to come and view your house. Most brokers are usually looking for homes that meet their clients’ needs, and you have a better chance of meeting a potential buyer through brokers.

6. Stage The Entertainment Spaces

A waterfront home is an excellent location for entertaining friends and family. Staging your entertainment spaces will help potential buyers visualize themselves in the house. You can set a big dining room with a long table, cozy chairs, and elegant cutlery.

The outdoor entertainment space should have an umbrella, seats, and a grill. Give the buyers the chance to visualize the lifestyle they can lead if they buy your home. For higher end homes, using a professional staging company or allowing your real estate professional to arrange for this is recommended.

It’s important to really allow potential buyers to see themselves in the space and this requires neutralization of your environment with just enough hint of what the space ‘could be’ like for them. Again, it’s always best to consult with your experienced, trusted agent to create a custom plan that will work for you.

7. Use an agent that uses social media, video, and virtual tours

Don’t underestimate the value of marketing your waterfront house on social media and other heavily used digital applications. If you have hired a reputable and successful real estate team, they will be on top of this. Moreover, your own social efforts won’t go unnoticed and cross posting to your personal network is a great supporting activity to help promote the sale of your waterfront home.

8. Choose the right time to sell the home

Waterfront homes have a higher appeal during spring and summer than during winter. Selling a waterfront home during the warm seasons will portray the house in the best setting. Consult your agent to know the best time to put the house on the market.

9. Be organized: Prepare all the necessary documents

It is helpful to collect all the paperwork that pertains to your home and put them in one place. Previous appraisals, surveys, permits for remodeling or additions, safety inspections, receipts for replacements of appliances and receipts for repairs done are all great examples of supporting documentation. These documents may also help the new owner to maintain the home and make future changes if they want.

10. Be patient, but not too patient

Finally, you need to be patient when you are looking for the right buyer for your home. A waterfront home is not the same as a traditional home, and it may take time to find interested clients. With that said, in our current market homes are selling fast and inventory is limited, a talented team of real estate experts will be able to get your house to market and sold to a qualified buyer in a reasonable time frame.

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