Selling Your Cottage this Fall? What to Consider
Selling a cottage in the fall has many benefits for both the seller and the buyer. The autumn foliage enhances the curb appeal of rural properties, allowing you to take advantage of nature’s beauty in staging your cottage. Adding seasonal urns or wreaths is a nice touch, but even mowing, raking, or sweeping between the junipers can help to highlight the natural features of the terrain.
In Canada, many cottages are seasonal, with families making excursions to them from May to September – sometimes by boat - while some offer year-round access and enjoyment. It’s important to ensure easy access; make sure the driveway is passable and not blocked by growth or fallen branches. Ensure that there is some wayfinding; a direction sign or a mailbox with a name or number on it. You might consider adding a new sign if there hasn’t been one historically. People love it when the cottage itself has a name, “Welcome to Casa Riviera.”
Is it water access only? Consider making boat arrangements for buyers to access the cottage. Many summer cottages need to be “closed up” for the winter, so a sale before then allows prospective buyers to access it more easily and to see it at its best before it is shuttered for the winter. The weather is cooler and dryer in the fall, so buyers viewing your cottage are less likely to create a mess. Nevertheless, consider putting a jute or coir doormat to reduce the tracks inside.
Highlight Multiple Uses
Is your cottage adaptable to various lifestyles? Highlight any potential uses for your cottage, besides the traditional family getaway. Does it feature bunkies? Perfect for a cottage Bed and Breakfast or family compound. “Casa Riviera Family Cottages.” Some buyers will be incentivized by added income or added space for visiting friends and family.
Does it have internet? Perfect for remote workers. “Casa dello Writer at Work.” More and more people are finding it possible to live full-time or seasonally outside of the major cities while maintaining their remote employment, but internet access is usually key.
Is it turnkey? Perfect for short-term rentals. “Casa Riviera Restful Resort.” Those who have limited vacation time may find renting out their fully-furnished cottage between visits helps to offset the buying and maintenance costs of a second home.
While the housing market is cooling in many areas, it is still above pre-pandemic levels in most, even in cottage country. Unless you bought your cottage at peak price and are now forced to sell, you’re likely still looking at selling at a profitable price.
Many people choose to sell their summer home in the fall, to avoid another season of carrying costs over the off-season. On leased land, like trailer parks, annual lease and maintenance fees are often levied in spring and fall. Selling the cottage before it is closed up for the winter may potentially save the seller the cost of these closing-up efforts if they are outsourced.
When selling a home that is not your primary residence, sellers must pay capital gains tax on the increased value of the property.1 It’s important to be clear upfront about how much you will owe in capital gains tax, so that you can set it aside for tax time.
Of course, if you sell your home with a FairSquare REALTOR®, you will save thousands of dollars in commission. Whatever your situation, if you are considering selling your cottage this fall, you could do worse than to put up a friendly sign that says, “Mi Casa, Su Casa.”
Are you ready to sell your home or cottage this fall? FairSquare can help. FairSquare Group Realty supports Canadians by providing real estate experiences with incredible rewards: sellers save thousands in commission and buyers receive $2.000 cash back* when they purchase a home with one of our REALTORS®. Call 1-855-999-9740 to learn more.