August is Decision Time - Want Your Vacation Home Sold in 2015 or Not?
In the northern United States, where shopping for a vacation home is a seasonal affair, the beginning of August is something of a decision-making moment. In our northwest Wisconsin real estate market (the South Shore of Lake Superior, including Madeline Island and Bayfield, Wisconsin), August marks the beginning of "crunch time". For many reasons, the price and condition of your home listing at this crucial time of year will make or break the success of your listing.
We often remind our sellers that they need to pay close attention to what competing sellers are doing. Like it or not, second home buyers are shopping for value. Buyers pay serious attention to the price, condition and cleanliness of the homes we show them.
You are competing with other sellers for the attention of a finite and limited number of qualified and capable buyers. Get in the game now or expect to be on the market again next year.
Start with taking a good, honest look at your list price. For example, a buyer who has made the mental decision to shop only for homes priced under $300,000 will remove a listing from consideration if it's perceived as out of their reach. You're simply not going to induce these second home buyers to stretch as far as you want them to.
Sellers who are determined to overprice their homes in order to get an offer at a particular target price are leaving offers on the table. We counsel these sellers to carefully reconsider their price in late summer and early autumn, in order to have a decent chance of finding a buyer.
Do a brutally honest assessment of the price, condition and cleanliness of your home for sale. This seems to be one of the toughest tasks for most sellers to tackle. Most of our sellers need good, candid advice from a third party in order to grasp what may be necessary in order to get their home ready to sell. Self-delusion is expensive and it can be hazardous to your financial future!
If you won't listen to your real estate agent, find a family member or friend who will help you arrive at that honest self-assessment. Above all, take the emotion out of the discussion and be prepared to hear what you need to hear, instead of what you want to hear.