Tips for Selling a Second Home

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If you are selling a second home, you likely have two goals, you want to get the most money you can, and you want the transaction to happen fast. There are steps that you can take when selling a second home that may help to speed up the process.

Making some simple changes to your second home can help you to get the money that you want and get your property sold. About 36% of vacation buyers, by property at the beach, but that does not mean there is not a huge market for selling a second home just about anywhere.

Getting the Best Offers When Selling a Second Home

The major goal when selling a second home is to make as many as possible on the deal. You may have to spend money to make money, but you can get a great return on your investment if you play your cards right.

Before you start making any upgrades you will want to invest in the necessary repairs first. For example, the major systems of your home will all need to be in good repair to get top dollar for your second home.

Here are some systems you should consider having repaired, replaced, and maintenance before you list your second home:

  • Your roof. Even if your roof is seemingly in great condition, it is a good idea to call the roofers and have an inspection done. If they would give you a certification of the inspection, it can help buyers make decisions about the house.
  • Call in an HVAC expert. HVAC maintenance and tune-ups can also be a great selling point. It can give buyers peace of mind knowing that they are considering a house where they will not have to immediately take on HVAC issues. It is an easy, affordable step that can convince a buyer this is a good investment.
  • Foundation repairs. Have any cracks repaired in the foundation.

Frankly, system repairs are not really what sells a home, but savvy buyers will be more likely to consider your home if you have proof that all the systems are in good working order. For example, if you have a gas-burning fireplace that cannot be used because you need gas line repairs that you have been putting off, now is the time to get them done. A fireplace can be a great selling point, but not if it does not work properly.

Once you get all the necessary repairs out of the way, you will want to move on dealing with the cosmetic repairs. Making your home look its best and enticing qualified buyers will help you to get your asking price.

Where To Put Your Focus On Aesthetics

While any improvements you make to the property as far as cosmetics are concerned are good improvements. There are some areas that will deliver a higher ROI when selling a second home. The goal is to get as much bang for your buck as possible.

You may have heard about how important curb appeal is to selling a property, believe the hype. It is critically important that when selling a second home that the house makes a great first impression when potential buyers pull up.

Keeping the grass neat, adding some flowers and shrubs, and painting the porch are all things that will add to the curb appeal. Creating an inviting meandering walkway from the driveway to the front door using stone pavers, is an easy, affordable project that can really up the ante of the curb appeal of your home.

Be sure that your garage door is fully functional, clean, or painted fresh and looks great. It is especially important if your garage doors face the street that it looks its best. If the doors need to be replaced, residential garage doors can be a worthwhile investment.

How is your front door? Does it need to be painted? It is important that your front entranceway is tidy, and looks inviting. A chipped or dirty door is not tidy and not inviting. If you really want to make a statement with the entranceway consider investing in designer doors that really make the entrance to the home pop.

You want your curb appeal to be so inviting that qualified buyers to get excited about stepping inside and investigating the rest of the property. If you do not have time to do the work yourself, it is so important to have the right curb appeal, that you should hire someone to manage all the projects.

One final work about your curb appeal, then we will move indoors. If your house is due for a paint job and it shows, if you really want to get buyers interested, give them a newly painted exterior. An exterior house painter can get the job done quickly and it can be more affordable than you think.

Once you have the outside looking great, it is time to get inside the house and start doing the little cosmetic improvements that make selling a second home at the asking price easy. Here are some things you should be working on inside the home:

  • Hardwood flooring is a big draw among home buyers, but it needs to be in good condition. If you have hardwood flooring that is worn, you can have it refinished and restored.
  • A fresh coat of neutral paint on interior walls can help people to have a blank slate they can picture working with. A quick coat of paint can really revitalize a space. When you paint in neutrals you remove a lot of the personalization of the homeowner which in turn allows buyers the opportunity to picture themselves and their own personalized touches in the space.
  • No clutter. Even if this is not your primary residence and you are selling a second home, you may have amassed some clutter over the years. You want to clear out the clutter. Leaving personal items out can impact the buyer’s perception of the space and whether or not they can personalize it for their needs.

Of course, the house needs a deep cleaning. Deep cleaning means everything from ceiling to floor and in between will need to be dusted and cleaned. You will get more offers for a clean, well-organized space than you will for a space that needs some cleaning and feels overcrowded.

Take a look around the house are there any repairs needed. Some repairs may not be immediately obvious because you have lived with the problem for so long. For example, a quirky faucet that you have to jiggle a bit this way and that way may be part of the charm of the house, but you should call a plumber and get it replaced. Charming “quirks” tend to be annoyances to new buyers. Typically quirky things about a house develop as the family enjoys the space and just becomes a part of the experience. Unfortunately, buyers have no experience with the house, they just do not want to have to put any work into if they are going to pay top dollar.

The Million Dollar Question

Once you have the exterior and interior in tip-top shape it is time to list the house. The big question is do you list it on your own using online sales sites or do you hire a real estate agent to manage the process for you?

There are some clear benefits to working with an agent when selling a second home, including:

  • You will have someone local to show the property, which means you do not have to clear your calendar every weekend to do it.
  • You will have someone local that will keep an eye on the property for you.
  • The agent will do all the marketing for the property so you do not have to do it.

Working with an agent, especially when selling a second home can be the better option. Most people’s second homes are anywhere from 100-200 miles away from their primary property. If you have to show the house to prospective buyers it can mean having to be there every weekend, and more importantly, it can mean missing out on showing opportunities when you cannot be there.

After you put all that work into getting the house ready you do not want to leave it completely unattended until you can make it back. An agent that you partner with can check in on the home, and even potentially deal with work crews like landscaping companies on your behalf.

Of course, there is also the advantage of not having to worry about marketing your property. The agent will handle all the marketing, open houses, signage, and more. Another tremendous benefit of working with an agent when selling a second home is that they already have a network behind them. When you partner with one agent, you are actually partnering with every agent in the area that has clients interested in the property. You can reach buyers with an agent that you could never reach without an agent.

It is not all good news when it comes to working with an agent. You do have to pay for them. While you do not pay anything out of pocket upfront they will take their slice of the pie at the closing table. However, they take on the brunt of the work when you are selling your second home and many people feel like the cost is well worth it.

Ultimately, it is up to you whether you contract with an agent or you take the DIY approach. It really comes down to how much work you want to put into the process and whether or not you want to part with those broker fees at the closing table. As a side note, most people do partner with an agent when selling their second home simply because it is the easier option.

You decide what it is best for your situation. Most agents require an exclusive six-month contract. If that makes you nervous, you can try on your own at first and see how it goes. If you find the process too overwhelming, then get an agent on board quick.

Selling Your Home Quickly

One of the most asked questions when selling a second home is how fast can I sell it. Everyone that has decided to sell their second home wants to do it fast. The right question you should be asking is how can I move the process along.

Being prepared for showings is one of the best ways to move the process along. You want to show that house to as many people as possible. Open houses focused marketing, and having the property to be shown during off-hours can all help you to connect with the buyer that is going to love your house.

Selling a second home requires that you set the purchase price right. If you list too high, you are not going to get the same hits as if you listed at the right price. Of course, on the flip side of the coin, if you list too low, then you will be ripping yourself out of money.

If you did connect with an agent and are going to be using an agent when selling a second home, then the agent can help you to set the right price. The agent will do a market analysis of home sales in the area and compare the amenities, size, and other details to the amenities, size, and other details in your home to come up with a fair market price.

When pricing your property make sure you leave a little wiggle room to be able to reduce the price if the sale is slow going without taking too big of a hit. Making sure that your property is available to be viewed at the drop of a dime can also help to move the process along. The more exposure your property can get, the quicker the sales process will be.

Do your part when selling a second home by getting the repairs done, cleaning things up, and refreshing it all, and you have a much better chance of selling a second home fast.


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