Sunday, March 2, 2014

Real Estate - List your waterfront home now for maximum exposure - By Dan McGowan

If you’re thinking about selling your waterfront property, it’s a good time to start planning on getting your home ready for sale. Even though Old Man Winter still has his grips on us, springtime is just around the corner. If your waiting until the ice goes away, don’t. It could be April when the ice is finally gone. Potential buyers of waterfront property are looking now and starting to make decisions on where they want to live. 

Since the invention of the Internet, buyers are now looking for property sooner with the help of online sites such as Zillow, Trulia, etc. They’re searching at night after dark. They’re driving around their desired neighborhoods, viewing available homes on a mobile phone, in the safety of their warm vehicle. The way buyers search for homes has changed, and their location, the time of year, and the weather have far less effect on their ability to view homes than it used to.

If you wait until April or May to list your home and you price it right, it could take a month or two to get it under contract, then another 30 to 45 days to close if all goes well. That could take the closing into July or August. Buyers are looking now to close before the summer season to enjoy the waterfront amenities of what they just bought. Your agent can list your home now and take pictures, and when spring rolls around your agent can come back and take pictures when all is in bloom. You should start planning on retrieving all your permits for work completed on the shorefront for availability to potential buyers. 

Get your docks ready and freshly painted. Replace worn or broken boards. Many waterfront listings neglect this. You need to set your waterfront property apart from the rest. Open all curtains that face the water and clean the windows and screens. Remove anything that blocks the view. You want buyers to be wowed when seeing the lake from the house. As soon as you can, get down to the water and clean up what has washed up. Set your lawn furniture out and make it inviting. If you have a boathouse, clean the inside and make it roomier. Entryways should be clear of clutter and decks/porches should be shoveled.

In the winter, with the leaves off the trees, you might also have a nice view that isn't as apparent in the spring and summer months. It's a great time to sell waterfront property. You can see the views better this time of year.

Selling your house in the winter doesn’t need to be a hassle. By listing your home now, you have a better chance of selling it sooner and a better chance of getting the price you want!

Dan McGowan is an associate broker with Coldwell Banker Team Real Estate in Windham.

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