The idea of living on one of Michigan’s inland lakes is something that thousands of home buyers dream about. Breathtaking views, cool summer breezes, and adventurous outdoor activities all appeal to people seeking out waterfront homes for sale. As a seller of a lakefront home, you want to ensure that you’re fulfilling the expectations of potential buyers. Learning how to get waterfront property ready for market is crucial for a profitable sale. The more you’re able to help fulfill the fantasy of lake life to your home viewers, the easier it is for your realtor to negotiate a top dollar transaction.
Your waterfront realtor can only do so much on their own time to sell your home for a fair price. As the homeowner, taking the initiative to make a few small changes around your house and property will be well worth the effort. If you’re ready to sell your lake house, use these smart tips to quickly sell a waterfront home and find a waterfront specialist to make the process as smooth as possible.
14 Tips to Sell Waterfront Homes
Whether you’re selling a home on one of the larger lakes in Michigan, like one of the Great Lakes, or you live on some of the smaller lakes, like Silver Lake, Lake Ponemah, or Lobdell Lake, they all require similar efforts to prepare your home for going on the market. Before you start painting or cleaning, begin with some research. Try to view some waterfront homes currently for sale in your location. Looking at homes similar to yours is going to show you what properties are selling and what ones are stuck on the market. Pay attention to what similarities the top-selling properties have and start to incorporate those characteristics into your own waterfront property. After you’ve seen what buyers are interested in, it’s time to make your home fit those qualities to the best of your ability.
Create a Path to the Shoreline
People coming to look at your waterfront property are eager to get right out and see the water. Many lakefront property seekers already have a preconceived idea of what they want their future property to look like. Clearing an existing pathway to the water or creating a new one makes your yard look cleaner and the property more inviting. This is especially true if the water and shoreline are the first things they ask to see.
Clean Up Outside
If you have showings lining up, giving your home’s exterior and yard a quick cleaning is going to help make your home more appealing. Wash away dirt and grime on the outside of the house with a soapy brush and a power washer. Thoroughly weed your flower beds and spruce up your existing landscaping to make everything look well-kept. Curb-appeal is one of the most important aspects of selling your home because it is the first impression to anyone who visits.
Spray for Bugs
With showings lining up one after another, it might be a smart move to have the outside sprayed for bugs. Lake life is wonderful, but it welcomes lots of small critters that are an annoyance. Even though they’re harmless, buyers might become turned off when having to swat at pesky bugs constantly. Pay for a few rounds of pest control while your house is on the market so that the showings remain bug-free. It’s a small investment that is going to make your home even more welcoming.
Wash the Windows
Nothing ruins a stunning view like dirty windows. Lakefront homes get dirty faster than other property types. The moist environments invite water spray, mildew growth, and bugs that get stuck on our glass windows. Whether you hire a window washer or clean them yourself, making the glass look crystal clear gives the viewers a clear wow-factor when they take their first steps inside. Waterfront visibility is one of the selling points of the home. If you can attract them to the view, it makes getting you a strong deal even more manageable.
Stage the Waterfront
You already know that the water is the most significant aspect of the house, so staging the shoreline is one way to make the property even more impressive. Prune or clear out any bushes, trees, or plants that obstruct the view of the water. Be careful not to hack away too much foliage because you still want bright green leaves to compliment the scenery.
If you have a small beach out front, try adding a small table with an umbrella and chairs. Adding a nice seating area with a grill is another simple way to stage the shoreline. Fun toys, like paddle boats and kayaks, are also great staging items. Set them out to give the buyers a true vision of what their lifestyle could look like if they lived there.
Repair the Dock
You never know who is going to buy your house, but you can bet that the person who does wants to know about the dock’s functionality. Docks can either invite or deter views from buying a home, so make sure to perform necessary repairs to keep it safe. Damaged and rotting docks that are unstable mean the buyer has to consider the price of paying for a new one. If your dock is well taken care of, it’s one less thing the buyer has to worry about.
Declutter Your House
Although the property itself is the main selling point of waterfront homes, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to let the inside of the house go. If you’re planning to sell your home, get a head start by cleaning out all the unnecessary clutter lying around. Buyers need to visualize their belongings inside the space, so the less junk you have, the easier it is for them to imagine. Put away piles of bills and papers, organize the insides of your cupboards, and toss anything that no longer serves a purpose. Purging your home of needless items makes you more likely to create a deal and puts you ahead in the moving process.
Repaint the Walls
Paint is an amazing tool. A few layers of fresh paint has the ability to transform the look and feel of a space completely. Lakefront property buyers already have a beach life envisioned and want their home to have the same vibe. Painting your walls in neutral tones like white and light grey helps produce an atmosphere that is easily customized to any buyer’s personal preferences. On top of that, the paint makes everything feel fresh, light, and new.
Utilize Smell to Sell Your Home
Have you ever walked into a house and got a whiff of something delicious cooking in the kitchen? Appealing to people’s senses is a great way to create a lasting impression. Before a showing, try lighting scented candles or baking cookies to fill your home with pleasant fragrances. If it’s a hot summer day, appeal to even more senses by opening the windows and allowing a breeze to blow through the house. The fresh air and sounds from the water create an ambiance that is hard to forget.
Understand Your Lake
Understanding the lake you live on is something that every seller should try to do. The more you know about your area, the more likely you are to understand what makes your home special. Every body of water has its own list of pros and cons. If you know the water features such as the size, depth, regulations, public boat launches, and animal life, you market your home more efficiently to potential buyers.
Get a Pre-Listing Inspection by a Professional
Hiring a professional to come and perform an inspection on your home might be the best couple of hundred bucks you’ll spend. It’s almost guaranteed that any buyer you come across is going to order one, and getting ahead on this task is going to pay off in the long run. Licensed inspectors come to your home and evaluate the electrical, plumbing, roof, heating, cooling, and other systems in your home. They’ll be able to give you time to make necessary repairs, so you don’t have to deal with them later on during the buyer’s inspection. It also keeps your future buyer from rescinding their offer after discovering repairs that are going to cost them. If you have a lot of issues to fix, you might not get as good of a deal, or you could lose the buyer altogether.
Work with a Waterfront Realtor
One of the biggest mistakes a person can make when selling their home on the water is not hiring a certified waterfront specialist. Lakefront homes are completely unique and require specific tools and marketing strategies. Realtors who are certified to work with waterfront properties have particular knowledge that allows them to understand the different regulations, pricing, and buyer demographics of these types of homes. The entire selling process will be less stressful because the realtor can explain precisely how they are going to market your house and who they are going to market it to. They’ll find a price that isn’t too high or low while still creating a good deal for you.
The Importance of Photography
Great photos and videos are critical for successfully selling a home. With everything listed online, homes with subpar images aren’t going to get nearly as many clicks as professionally taken photos or droid video footage. This tip goes hand-in-hand with hiring a certified waterfront specialist. Waterfront realtors have teams who make your home look it’s best so that it generates more web traffic and attracts a broader pool of buyers.
Market on Social Media
You never know who’s looking to buy, and your large pool of friends and family on social media could welcome potential buyers who already trust that you’ve taken care of your property. Share the photos and videos taken by your realtor and his media team on all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. The more you market to potential buyers, the more likely you are to create some buzz and get a qualified buyer.
Knowing how to get waterfront property ready for market will make a significant difference in how smoothly the selling process goes. The sooner you prepare your house and get it ready to sell, the easier you make it for your realtor to bring you the best price possible without your home sitting on the market for months on end. If you’re unsure where to start, set up a time to have your waterfront realtor walk through your home and guide you on the most critical fixes to make. Lake life is a lifestyle that many people strive for, and if you’re able to show your buyers that your home fits that desire, selling your waterfront home will be a breeze.
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