Putting a home out on the market is rarely an easy task. However, second homes tend to be larger than their starter home predecessors, which also means the buyers are likelier to be more experienced and in search of a place where they can put down roots and grow a family.
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If you want to minimize the amount of time your second home is listed for, here’s what real estate experts say you should do to ensure you put your home up in the right season along with other tips for nailing the sale.
When is the best time to sell a second home?
“Traditionally winter is the slowest season for home sales, but if the climate is warm it can be the best time to sell your second home," Joseph J. Zoppi, vice president of Templar Real Estate Enterprises in New Jersey, told FOX Business. "A good example is in the Southwest or Florida where a number of snowbirds will flock during the winter months, which might provide the perfect time to sell,”
He added that home sellers have to know their local market and when there are an influx and outflow of buyers.
In his own words, “You always want to sell right before the rise of buyers come into the market so you are poised to be ready for the increase in traffic and demand, whereas when buying a second home you want to have fewer buyers looking at houses which could put added pressure on the seller to reduce their price or provide concessions.”
If a person’s second home happens to be located in a “seller’s market,” where the number of properties for sale is below the potential number of people looking to buy, a seller might receive multiple offers and the home can sell higher than the list price.
Rural homes tend to take longer to sell unless they are near a tourist destination, according to Zoppi.
Tips for selling a second home.
“Make sure you are 100 percent in sync with the seasonality of your property's location," said real estate investor Marina Vaamonde, the founder of HouseCashin.com in Houston. "It will be very difficult to show a summer home on the lake in the dead of winter. Besides the logistics of digging out all of the snow, the buyer won’t get to see the full potential of the beautiful scenery associated with the lake.”
She also suggests sellers put in the effort to declutter and stage their second home to help achieve a sale. In her expert opinion, winter cabins should feel cozy and warm while beach homes should feel bright and summery.
“Second-home buyers are more emotionally driven and are looking for a home that will provide them with a different experience than their everyday life,” Vaamonde explained.
For homes that are in need of repairs but will be sold as-is, Vaamonde advises sellers to list the property two to three months before the bustling period in the area starts because it will give the homebuyer enough time to fix it up during the offseason.
Likewise, Consumer Trends Expert Beatrice de Jong at the house-selling resource Opendoor noted that second homes that have become financial burdens or are in severe need of emergency repairs should be let go. This may also extend to vacation homes that no longer bring joy.
She also thinks sellers have the best chance when their market is strong. In other words, “If your second home is in an area that sees a boom of value increases, it may be a good opportunity to cash out on the investment.”