Staging your water's edge can bring top dollar for your waterfront real estate.
Adam Dow, Fine Homes Specialist
Prudential Spencer-Hughes Real Estate
Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
Docks and Decking:
Replace worn or broken boards in the docks or shorefront decks. Paint and / or
stain the entire waterfront area. Many waterfront buyers are new to the market
and may not want to undertake any projects around the water. Many waterfront
listings neglect this responsibility; it is an easy way to set your waterfront
property apart from the rest.
Remove weeds from the sand beach area, rake beach prior to showings, build a
small sand castle and have a small child's toy. Parents and grandparents love to
envision their children playing on a nice beach while they are enjoying the
If you are privileged enough to have a boathouse, clean it inside and out.
Remove any bird and / or animal waste. Much like the docking systems, a fresh
coat of paint will go a long way. If possible, remove oversized boats; a large
boat will make the boathouse look smaller.
Staging the Waterfront:
Strategically place flowerpots on shorefront patios and decks. Set up lawn
furniture in a socially inviting manor. Create multiple entertainment areas;
each will add value in the waterfront buyer's mind. Much like in the dining
room, set a table for a BBQ. If possible, have the lawn and / or waterfront area
Many waterfront buyers are looking for second homes. They are often unfamiliar
with the lakes or communities in the areas they have targeted for a vacation
home. As such, it would be helpful to provide a map of the lake indicating the
location of the property; assisting buyers in gaining perspective of the lake
and surrounding areas. In addition, an aerial photograph of the property gives
another perspective to the listing and its immediate surroundings unseen from
the ground; it is most beneficial in proving privacy and when surrounding
properties compliment and enhance the value of the subject property. Providing
brochures for restaurants and shops reassures buyers as to the existence of
Clean windows in the house that face the water, remove decorations or lamps
which may block the view.
Retrieve all permits for work completed on the shorefront for availability to
If you really want to drive up the value.
Apply for New Permits:
Submit applications for additional permits; perched beaches, permanent docks,
covered boat docks, breakwaters, boathouses, etc. It is one thing to say you can
have a beach; it is another to have a written permit from the government for a
beach. It is a value to be added onto the list price. With each day, additional
laws and restrictions regarding the waterfront are enacted. If you are thinking
about selling, start this process as soon as possible.
What's the first thing I should do to prepare a home for sale?
The first thing you need to do is start thinking about your home as a commodity that you want to sell. To be a successful seller, you must detach yourself emotionally from your home and be honest about how it should look in order to sell. Property condition and appearance play big roles in home sales. Buyers discount the price if a home needs work. You do not have to spend a fortune preparing your home for sale. Concentrate on cost-effective improvements that will give you a good return on your investment.
What improvements should I make when selling my house?
There is more than one way to sell a house, but most experts agree that spending time on a few basic home improvements can pay dividends. Projects such as resurfacing kitchen cabinets, installing closet storage systems, repainting rooms and hiring a cleaning crew to clean everything from walls and woodwork to carpets and mini-blinds can help sell a home. Other quick fixes that will catch a buyer's eye include freshly trimmed shrubs and trees, new house numbers or a new front door.
What is the least expensive repair I can make to get my home ready for sale?
Painting is the least expensive improvement you can make to a home. A neutral decor may seem boring, but it is a safe bet from a resale standpoint. The same goes for floor coverings: stick to neutral linoleum and carpet.
What are the best colors to paint the exterior of my home if I intend to sell soon?
Use neutral colors for the house--white, light gray or tan. You may choose a bolder complementary color for the trim, but save the most vivid color to accent the front door.
What color should we paint the interior of a house that we intend to sell soon? Do I have to live with a boring shade of white until we sell?
Not necessarily. Look for pastels and neutral shades that complement the carpeting and window coverings. Avoid dramatic colors such as red, bright yellow, bold blue or emerald green. Add bold accents with area rugs, tablecloths, sofa pillows, and quilts.
How long does it usually take for a home to sell?
Most houses usually take three to four months to sell in a typical real estate market. In a hot market, however, homes can sell the day they go up for sale. In a slow market, homes may sit for months--even longer--before selling. When considering your selling strategy, take the time to research your home's value online and get at least one comparative market analysis to set your price appropriately. If you need to sell quickly and the market is slow, you may have to do extra work to stage your home for sale or set a lower price to attract buyers.
What is the best pricing strategy to use when I am ready to sell?
The best strategy is to set a price closest to what a reasonable buyer would expect to pay, given recent comparable sales and market conditions as well as your home's location, condition, and competition. Get an estimate of your home's value online. If you are planning to work with a listing agent, ask at least three to prepare a comparative market analysis and a sales presentation for you. This will give you three takes on recent sales, and listing information about similar nearby properties currently for sale. Don't necessarily choose the agent who suggests the highest list price; also look for the best marketing plan along with the best personality for your style and needs.