When you buy a lake house, it’s about more than just the physical structure and easy access to the water. You really are buying a lifestyle. And that’s precisely what you’re selling when you deem it time to sell your lakefront property. And that takes a certain expertise that many selling agents who specialize in more traditional properties don’t necessarily possess.
“When you’re shopping for a house, the first thing prospective buyers want to see varies—bedrooms, baths, ‘man cave’, etc. People buying lake houses want to go to the water first to check out the view, where they can launch their boat, place their fire pit or hang a tire swing. So, it makes sense to spruce up that path to the water and make it as attractive as possible,” said Scott Freerksen, owner of Lakefront Living Realty, LLC, a Massachusetts-based brokerage that specializes in properties that are directly on lakes.
Freerksen recommends a number of other enhancements and “staging” techniques prior to putting your lakefront property on the market:
- Define the destination – Lakefront buyers will first want to go right down to the water. Be sure there is a welcoming, defined and well-lit pathway leading to the water’s edge/dock.
- Dock and Deck Safety – If you have docks, decks and/or shoreline walls, be sure they are sturdy and safe. Replace / repair any loose boards. Floating docks should be roped off…not everyone is used to walking on them.
- Shoreline Curb Appeal -Clean all debris, leaves and dead fish from shoreline. Rake all aquatic weeds and bottom muck as far out into the lake as you can reach. Have photos displayed on a flyer that show the shoreline conditions in ALL seasons, particularly summer.
- Lifestyle Staging – Buyers are buying a lake home for the lifestyle it will provide them. Help them understand by neatly staging your shoreline and lakeside yard with lifestyle items: kayaks, fishing equipment, swim towels, fire pit, etc. Don’t overdo it, but let them know how they will be spending their days. Provide a great lakefront “experience”.
- Lake Tours – Have a kayak, canoe or pontoon boat at the ready (with life jackets). There’s no better way to secure a lakefront sale then to get the buyers out on the water! Again, reinforce the lifestyle.
- Market the Lake – Create flyers that have EVERY detail on the lake itself. Size (in acres), depth (maximum and average), allowed recreation, boating rules & regulations, Lake Association information, aquatic weeds, public access, boat launches, fish type, etc.
- Lake Visibility – If a buyer enters the home first, they will immediately walk to where they can see the lake. So be sure any window glass and/or sliders are perfectly spotless.
- Marketing Materials – 95 percent of buyers start their search online. Photos and video must “tell the story” of the home and lakefront location. Assume the buyer knows nothing about the lake and area. Walk them through your location virtually. Panoramic shots of the lake, as well as photos showing the home from out on the water, are critical.
- Share Your Experience – One of the most powerful tools you can create is a letter to the future owner. Talk about your lakefront experiences, raising your children, the benefits of that particular location of the water, the wildlife, the neighbors, your favorite lake activity, etc. It also helps you to remove yourself from your own emotional attachment. This will be critical to the future success of the sales process.
“Perhaps the biggest thing is working with a selling agent who has experience selling lakefront properties and knows the presentation aspect of selling a lakefront property,” said Freerksen. “Just like buying a lakefront property, selling a lakefront property can be a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you’re an older homeowner or if it’s your parents’ home and you need some of the money to fund their care, getting your asking price is critical. These fairly simple steps can have a great impact in getting that price and how quickly the home sells.”
Lakefront Living Realty, LLC routinely holds information seminars for prospective sellers and buyers of lakefront property. Their next seminar, “Keys to Lakefront Buying”, takes place on Saturday, March 16, from 10am to noon. The seminar is $29 and seating is limited to the first 50 people. All attendees will be entered into a drawing for a free kayak. To register, please visit http://www.lakefrontliving.com/seminarKeys.asp or call 508-377-7167.
About Lakefront Living Realty, LLC
Based in Mansfield, Massachusetts, Lakefront Living Realty, LLC is a full service real estate brokerage specializing solely on the purchase and sale of pond and lakefront property in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Owner Scott “The Lake Guy” Freerksen, a Real Estate Broker and Realtor, founded Lakefrontliving.com in 2003 as way to support his real estate practice and to bring to potential buyers and sellers a website that features direct lakefront homes. All the “riverfront”, “oceanfront”, “across the street”, “within walking distance” homes are taken out of the site.
Lakefront Living Realty has one mission: To passionately unite Buyers and Sellers of lakefront property. For complete information, please visit www.lakefrontliving.com or call Scott at 508-377-7167.