Three questions you and the right agent should discuss when selling your vacation home


Demand for short-term rentals is skyrocketing, and all this market activity is redefining what it means to be a vacation home seller—and a vacation home real estate agent. In the vacation rental market, top agents have different insights and unique skill sets that typical residential real estate agents do not.

Here are three key questions to discuss, so you can tell the good (and not-so-good) agents from the great:

1. Does selling my vacation home, now or in the future, make sense based on my short- and long-term goals?

While some vacation homeowners see their properties purely as investments, others are more emotionally attached. Many have family considerations that make it harder to reach agreements on how, when, or even why to sell.

Whether the decision falls to you, your family, or you and your business partners, your decisions around selling should be as informed as your decision would be to buy. With a holistic overview of your choices and objective insights into the vacation home and short-term rental marketplace, you may find you have more choices than you realize.

The right real estate agent will take great care in understanding your goals and help you gain more industry knowledge as you explore solutions. It’s imperative that you are sure selling—or selling right now—really is your best option.

  • Are you selling because you’re tired of managing the home, or don’t think you use it enough to justify the effort?
  • If you aren’t already renting your vacation home, how would shifting into a property management scenario (at least while you search for a new owner) impact your finances and goals?
  • Is it better to sell your vacation home outright, or offer it as a business for your children and grandchildren as part of your legacy?
  • Is it the right time in your life, based on your goals, to trade up or “swap homes” using a 1031 exchange?
  • What’s happening in your regional and local market that makes it an opportune (or inopportune) time to sell?

2. Should I continue renting my vacation home while it’s listed for sale? (Or should I start renting my home, if I’m not already?)

The right agent will tell you the answers are yes and yes! And with the right property management partner, it’s actually very simple—and valuable—to set up a short-term vacation rental program.

Let’s talk simplicity first. Look for a partner who won’t burden you with long-term contracts (or nickel-and-dime you for maintenance and housekeeping services ). You want a full-service property management partner who can set you up with no headaches and no hassles, so your vacation home sale is worry-free.

Now let’s talk value. A rental calendar with future bookings will attract buyers and compel vacation rental real estate investors to make offers based on real rental income data and future money in their pocket. If you’re worried about buyers who might not want to use your home as a vacation rental, that’s easy, too. You’re in charge of your calendar, so you can set your calendar to book for just 60–90 days out, so you’re only scheduling bookings prior to close.

Remember: 96% of vacation rental buyers have visited the places where they prefer to buy, so your guests could be potential buyers.* You’re giving them the opportunity to experience the home for themselves prior to purchase—and to fall in love with the property and its earning potential!

3. What are the advantages of positioning my vacation home as a business opportunity?

A great agent knows you can set your property apart when your home is marketed as a vacation rental investment with a proven cash flow. Imagine the ease and excitement a buyer might feel at finding your vacation home for sale—maybe even fully furnished and turn-key, with future reservations already on the books!

If your home is already an active short-term rental, your historical income reports serve as hard data that appeals to both new and seasoned vacation home buyers. With data like this, nearly one-quarter of people interested in buying a vacation home are open to buying sight unseen.

After all, you’re offering them a vacation home that’s a personal retreat and a business opportunity that can pay for itself—and then some. All they need to do is say yes.

Sell smarter with vacation rental expert agents

Vacation rental buyers aren’t like residential real estate buyers. Buyers in this market are looking for experts who understand their business priorities, the vacation rental industry, and the lowdown on local markets.

Your agent needs to know how to sell your vacation home smarter, with real data, for true value, while putting the most short-term vacation rental revenue in your pocket—and seamlessly guiding you through your sale strategy and process.

Look for a real estate partner who speaks your buyer’s language, knows the market, and knows how to serve your best interests in the deal.

Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 947-800-5979; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Susan Scanlon, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Dave Grant, Broker of Record; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan E. Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacasa Real Estate Corporation, California DRE #02105811, Joseph Czapkowicz, California DRE #01380722; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Colorado, Daned Kirkham); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Idaho, Oregon, and Utah); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Maine, Michael McNaboe, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 3350 Lower Honoapiilani Road, Suite 600, Lahaina, HI 96761; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.

*Source: 2019 Vacation Rental Buyers Report (April 2019)

Note: This is not meant to solicit a possible agreement between the individual and Vacasa if the individual is currently working with another brokerage for competing real estate services.