Here in The Alabama Gulf Coast area we have just about every kind of waterfront property available for sale: Bay Front, Gulf Front, River Front, Canal Front, Lake Front. So how does a buyer determine value when there are so many variables–especially price?
After showing a couple of my waterfront listings last week the buyer’s agent told me she was even confused because the prices were “all over the place.” Admittedly waterfront property is very hard to “comp out” as an agent mainly because of the uniqueness factor and secondly because of the overall availability of waterfront property versus housing in subdivisions or neighborhoods–the fewer the properties to compare a subject property to the more difficult it is to determine Value.
Now let me say that I personally believe that “Fair Market Value” and a Buyer’s “Individual Personal Value” may not always be the same or even that close to being the same value of a property be it waterfront or not. Here’s where I think a lot of agents are missing it: they are getting too caught up with their buyer in looking for the DEAL that they allow too many variables in to play and everyone is confused by the end of the day.
Here are some Tips to Simplify The Selection of Waterfront Property:
- Tip #1: If a Buyer is shopping for a Waterfront Home to live in or enjoy as their PERSONAL vacation home, then priority is THE LIFESTYLE OF THE BUYER. If they buy the best deal on the market for waterfront homes and it was only rated 5 on their list of “10 being Perfect” then there is a good chance they will not be completely satisfied with their purchase and continue to second-guess their decision of that house AND the agent who sold it to them.
- Tip #2: Why do they need/want waterfront? Do they need a Boat Dock? And a Boat Lift? How big is their boat? How Deep does the water need to be?
- Tip #3: Determine if ACCESS to Waterfront is sufficient or if the Buyer needs/wants to be living “on the water.” Often there may be a deeded boat slip or dock that conveys with the property. The price should reflect that the house does not sit directly on the water and this my be a perfect fit for the buyer.
- Tip #4: If the property is Canal Front or Canal Access, find out how shallow the water gets at LOW TIDE.
- Tip #5: What’s more important to the buyer–the property or the house. Houses can be remodeled or completely redone. The Waterfront is what it is.