Deciding to sell your lakefront property is a major decision and should not be taken lightly. The #1 most important decision you will make is around pricing. Too high, and you risk losing the first audience (the best buyers for maximum value). Too low, and you may leave tens of thousands of dollars on the table.
In the best of all worlds, your lake home is perfectly priced when it is perceived to be a true value, in relation to your competition, by the highest number of ready, willing, and able buyers.
Sounds easy? It’s not…it’s a science. Because this is most likely your highest value asset, it is no time for “guessing”. The tips below will help put the most money in your pocket at closing time:
There’s no one place you can go to find the perfect listing value for your lake home. It must be derived from a combination of factors. These include recent comparative market analysis, local lake home market trends, location desirability, automated valuations, current square footage costs, and property condition & amenities. A knowledgeable lakefront specialty agent can interpret all this data and present you with the best price range for maximum value.
Testing the Market
It’s understandable that lakefront homeowner would want to “test the market” at a higher value to see what happens. Here’s the problem: Buyers are more educated, and have more information at their fingertips, than any time in real estate history. Not to mention, they are out there every day for weeks or months at a time looking at every lake home for sale. They inadvertently become research analysts and therefore understand lake home values better than most sellers (and agents)!
Shift in Buyer Ideals
One of the hardest things to do as a seller is to think like a buyer, but it’s critical to understanding buyer logic. In previous markets, buyers would brag about how much they paid below the listing price. In current markets, buyers are bragging about how much they paid over the asking price. But here’s the key…you can’t tell them how much to pay! They need to feel like they came to that conclusion on their own. In other words, if they perceive your property is a value, they are more than happy to pay over asking. But if you tell them to pay over asking (with a higher starting price), they will not go there.
Time of Year
One of the most frequently asked questions we get is “when is a good time to list my lake home for sale”? The real question is: “When are ready, willing, and able buyers most likely to pay me maximum value for my lake home”? Based on that question, it doesn’t matter what time of year you list, as long as it’s valued correctly. In fact, I would argue that listing in the Springtime would net you less profit because so many others list at that time. This flips the supply & demand factor in the buyer’s favor. So, when is the best time? When you are physically, financially, and emotionally ready to list!
My Neighbors House Sold for…
No two lake homes are alike, it’s one of the reasons we love representing them. If these were 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath colonials in a cul-de-sac, they would be a piece of cake to value! But your lake home is unique, your location is unique, and it takes a focused evaluation of multiple data sources to get the pricing right. It’s amazing how lake home values can fluctuate based on lake factors such as cove vs. main channel, sunrise vs. sunset, shallow vs. deep access, privacy, views, etc. What your neighbor may have received for their lake home is only a small factor in the bigger valuation picture.
Your #1 goal when listing is to keep as many buyers interested in your lakefront property as possible. That means pricing it where they perceive it to be a value. Do that right, and the money will follow!
For a no-obligation in-home market valuation of your lakefront property, feel free to reach out to our lakefront experts anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Scott Freerksen “The Lake Guy”