The waterfront real estate marketplace has changed DRASTICALLY !! It is now a “Sellers’ Market.” As a result, prices are rising, and property inventory is way, way down.
Buyers need to be careful not to overpay or miss diligence items causing headaches down the road.
It could save you tens of thousands of dollars
Prevent future headaches
(B2) To help be sure you do not over pay for waterfront property, given today’s market conditions and, to help you avoid future head aches please take a look at the custom written information below – which is a sampling of the Waterfront Buyers’ Guide. This is not verbiage “shovel over” or curated from other web sites. Rather this information is written based on 11 years of experience representing over 40 waterfront buyers and sellers. This information is not available anywhere else!
1. Buying off the Sign – Some people think that if they deal directly with the Realtor who has the waterfront property listed (for sale), that agent will know more about the property than any other agent. By doing this, a buyer may think they can learn more details about the property as this agent is dealing with the seller and has an advantage in learning all the details about the property.
When listing a seller’s home for sale, that agent owes their fiduciary responsibility to the seller; often new buyers will simply call the listing agent’s phone number that is associated with that property. That’s like having the same lawyer represent you and your opposition!
The waterfront seller’s agent, or the listing Realtor’s job is to get the seller the highest possible price.
So, always use an experienced waterfront “Buyer’s Agent” when viewing waterfront property for sale.
2. Use a Buyer’s Agent – When you work with an experienced waterfront “buyer’s agent” (like me), as you look for lakefront property, you’ll be served, not sold, as your interests become my interests. As your buyer’s agent, I have a fiduciary responsibility to you, not the seller.
If a buyer (you) asks the listing agent how much they think the property being considered is worth, the listing agent is trained to answer with something along the lines of: “you should make an offer based on what you feel the property is worth, based on your knowledge.”
A buyer’s agent should be YOUR advocate, including all of the information you need to make a smart offer. A listing agent can provide comparable sales information regarding the property they have listed – to the potential buyers – but, they cannot LEGALLY, provide an opinion regarding what the property might actually be worth.
An agent who represents the seller will profit directly if YOU overpay! This is a direct conflict of interest.
A real estate agent who is serving as a “buyer’s agent” to a buyer can offer an opinion regarding what a water front property might actually be worth. By working with an agent that is your “buyer’s agent” you are represented by your own agent.
WATERFRONT BUYERS CLICK HERE to Receive Your Custom Written Waterfront Buyer’s Guide Which Could Save You Lots of Money and Help Prevent Future Headaches
3. Sometimes waterfront properties for sale today, reflect the Sellers’ list pricing.
The “Sellers’ pricing” means the price the owner hopes to sell for, not the market value an experienced real estate professional or appraiser would estimate it will sell for, given today’s market conditions.
Prior to the recession, waterfront homes sometimes sold for a number, higher than a Realtor might estimate as there was a ton of “demand.” Today, the inventory of waterfront homes for sale is way, WAY, WAY down. In reality there are probably more buyers than sellers right now. As a result, price are moving up for sure. But, there are still some properties that are priced above true market value.
Example: A local waterfront house was listed for $1,200,000, at the seller’s direction. My comparative market estimate was $750,000 for this home. The price came down to $899,999 – was it a good deal at this price? It sold for $775,000. A few years ago a very nice Chain property sold a few years ago and then sold again recently in a much stronger market for 6% less than it was bought for. In about the same time frame another property was purchased a few years ago and then sold again recently for 6% more than the first purchase. 6% in this price range is a lot of money. This show that it is important to have a Realtor who is a waterfront specialist to help advise on pricing/value.
And, as a waterfront buyer you want to know the “fair value” of the property, not how much the price has come down or how long it has been on the market.
4. Waterfront bank financing – Many times, the “Big City” banks don’t understand waterfront values so they are hesitant to write larger or second home waterfront loans.
Example: Recently a “Big Bank” would not finance a well-qualified buyer because the residence on the property was marginally habitable. The buyers were planning on tearing down the residence to build a new home. The price the buyers had negotiated was totally based on the poor condition of the residence and the value of the waterfront – sand lake bottom.
We gave this buyer the name of a local banker and within just a couple of weeks, they closed on their future “new” waterfront home.
So, we always recommend using a “local” independent bank or a waterfront banker who is experienced in handling waterfront properties .
5. Shoreland Zoning Regulations are Always Changing
Over the past several years the State of Wisconsin has drastically changed shore land zoning regulations so it is imperative that you understand shore-land zoning as it can drastically affect the value of waterfront property.
For example, assessors use a rule of thumb of about $4,500 dollars per foot when valuing a Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes property. So, properties with larger waterfronts have much more “assessed” value. This is not always true as a waterfront property with 100 feet of frontage and two hundred feet of depth has much more value than a property with one hundred feet of frontage and only 100 feet of depth. And, sand lake bottom make a Chain property worth more than a property with muck bottom.
Tip: Never, ever take zoning advice from a neighbor, friend or a Realtor if you are planning on buying a waterfront property and then improving it. Again, go see the experts at the zoning office and run your waterfront improvement plans past them – BEFORE YOU BUY! I can not tell you how many real estate agents and waterfront sellers I have heard tell potential buyers about zoning regulations, that is probably not correct.
Again, click here for more money saving and headache eliminating tips Waterfront Buyers’ Guide.
As a bonus you will receive a complete list of all area waterfront homes for sale (including the Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes) and a complete analysis of all recreational lakes property sales over the past several years. This information is not available anywhere else! click here