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5 Tips for Selling Your Lake Home

Updated: Jan 13, 2021

Thinking of selling your home this spring? If you want to sell for an optimal price this spring, it is time to start your home improvement projects.

Selling a Traditional Home vs. a Lake Home

When you start to plan and prioritize your home improvement projects, remember that selling a lake home is different than selling a traditional home.

Location and curb appeal are always two key factors to consider when selling your home.

However, when it comes to a lake home, your prospective buyers are envisioning living their dream lake lifestyle! Their priorities will be different from a traditional buyer.

When buying a traditional home, you consider the day-to-day family necessities – the school district, medical care, driving distances, nearby conveniences, etc. When buying a lake home as a second home, many of these priorities diminish. When it comes to lake life, you almost expect to drive 10-20 minutes into town for groceries, coffee, supplies, or medical care in the event of an emergency.

Additionally, when it comes to lake homes, the yard and outdoor area is of utmost importance. As you envision summer at the lake, you picture sitting outside with your morning cup of coffee, spending the day on the lake, or spending the evening around the bonfire. With all the time spent outdoors, lake home buyers prioritize the yard, lake access, and privacy. Similarly, the interior features and priorities almost diminish in importance.

If you could choose between…

  1. A lake home with a dated kitchen, fantastic view, and convenient lake access, or

  2. A lake home with a remodeled kitchen, limited view, and a non-maintained shoreline

Most buyers will opt for option 1 with the fantastic view and convenient lake access. A kitchen or bath remodel may increase the value of a traditional home, but neither are as beneficial for a lake home. There are other home improvements that you can make that are far more valuable.

Five Recommendations for Selling Your Lake Home

The majority of traditional recommendations for selling your home still apply, but it is essential that you focus on the needs of your prospective lake home buyer. You will likely face trade-offs and have to choose between home improvements, so make sure you choose what benefits lake life!

Maximize the Lake View

Maximize the view of the lake from the inside and outside. Trim trees, clean windows, and remove any obstructions from the view. You want prospective buyers to be captivated by the amazing view of the lake! The lake view can be an invaluable selling point!

Showcase Lake Life

Prospective lake home buyers are dreaming of their dream lake home and what it will be like to spend summer days on the lake. Help prospective buyers visualize with lake life staging.

Stage the outdoor living areas to be welcoming and appealing. Consider staging the BBQ grill, the campfire, the patio furniture on the porch overlooking the lake, the furniture near the lake, fishing equipment and/or kayaks near the lake, etc. You might consider adding an inner tube or pail and shovel to show that your lakefront property is great for all ages!

Make sure the porch, dock, boats, and boat house are sparkling clean! If it needs a quick coat of paint, touch up the little details and show your property in the best light.

Improve Curbside Appeal

Make sure your home looks it best not only from the road, but also from the water. Everything needs to be in tip-top shape - the lawn, gardens, outdoor living areas, decks, the stairs, shoreline, dock, etc.

For the property photography, take photos of your property from the lake. This will help buyers envision returning to their slice of paradise after a day on the lake. If possible, try to provide a boat tour so that prospective buyers can scope out the lake and get a feel for the lake culture.

Optimize for Lake Access & Privacy

Ensure that the pathway to the water is visually appealing and welcoming. Make sure the stairs are in good condition, the shoreline is clean, the dock and boat lift are in good condition, etc. Prospective buyers don’t want to see a mucky and weedy shoreline, so take the time to clean it up!

When it comes to landscaping, focus on the path to the water as well as additions that increase privacy. Most lake home owners spend the majority of the time outdoors and will want privacy every now and then. Simply planting trees along the property line or around outdoor living areas is a great start!

Hire a Waterfront Specialist

If you are thinking of selling your lake home this spring, consult a realtor who specializes in waterfront properties. Robert Sivek can help you identify short-term projects that will have the greatest impact on price with the least amount of hassle. His ultimate goal is to help you prioritize projects to maximize your return on investment!

Robert Sivek knows firsthand the importance of boat tours and virtual tours when selling your home. For more on his marketing insights, visit Marketing Matters: When Selling Your Home.


These five recommendations will help you enhance your lake home’s appeal. When it comes to lake homes, it is all about lake life and selling the home of their dreams!


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