Want to bask in the last days of summer by touring beautiful beach houses worth millions of dollars? You can get your fill of sandy eye candy on a new Netflix reality show that just debuted, “Million Dollar Beach House.”
This new series follows real estate agents in some of the most affluent and glamorous beach towns around: an area known as the Hamptons, just a drive (or, for the truly rich, helicopter ride) from New York City. On the show, real estate agents at local brokerage Nest Seekers International spend their days primping posh properties with the hopes that some ultrawealthy buyer will bite.
Yet surprisingly, these multimillion-dollar mansions run up against many of the same problems getting sold as any regular-priced property. As proof, check out this recap of the show’s premiere episode, “Selling Season,” where you can also learn plenty of tips on how to fetch top dollar for your own house, whether it’s on the beach or any old block.
Clutter can obstruct a great view
Michael Fulfree, an agent at Nest Seekers, has a shot at his first big sale: a $6 million listing with stunning beach views. But there’s just one problem: The homeowner, Patti, keeps the house so cluttered that he knows it’ll distract buyers from what’s outside those windows.
“As soon as people walk into that house, I want their eyes to go straight to the water and that’s all they see,” Fulfree says. “But Patti has Buddhas and tchotchkes everywhere. There’s too much going on in that property.”
So he brings in two interior designers to declutter and transform the space. When the designers are done, the place looks much more streamlined—which makes it all the easier to admire the view.
You have to spend money to make money
While home sellers often dream of the money they’ll make when they sell, they often lose sight of the money they should spend to get there.
“People don’t understand how much money gets put into actually selling the property,” Fulfree explains. “I’m willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars. It’s worth it.”
Whether a house needs staging, a new coat of paint, or a repair, Fulfree’s listing serves as a good reminder that sellers should get a listing looking its best before putting it on the market—even if that comes with a hefty price tag.
Sellers should never attend their own open house
Fulfree puts in a lot of effort to make his listing’s open house a success: getting the house to look its best, inviting guests, and creating a fun atmosphere to show off the perks of beachside living.
However, when the homeowner walks in, Fulfree is concerned.
“You don’t want the seller there in the presence of buyers,” Fulfree explains. “It’s almost impossible to make deals.”
And to make things worse, Patti complains that she doesn’t like the staging. As Fulfree explains, “Her negativity could really affect potential buyers.”
Take-home lesson for sellers: It’s best to stay away from your house when potential buyers are touring, either individually or during an open house. Seeing the owner can make it hard for potential buyers to picture themselves living there.
Don’t overprice your property
Meanwhile, real estate agent Noel Roberts is hoping to land his biggest listing yet: a modern mansion he says could be worth $35 million.
However, fellow agent Peggy Zabakolas says this is a bad estimate.
“Part of your job as a real estate broker is to come up with a number that is realistic,” Zabakolas says.
She is right to be wary of overpricing a property. Overpricing could put the property at risk for sitting on the market for a long time with no buyers in sight.
Plus, a high price will give homeowners unrealistic expectations for the sale, and they’ll end up being disappointed when, eventually, the price has to be dropped.
It’s best to choose a fair price that will help the house sell quickly.
The faster you sell, the better
When Fulfree is asked about his timeline for selling his beach house, he says he wants to get the sale done as quickly as possible.
“In real estate, there is no length of time that’s short enough,” he says.
Generally, home sellers will want to find a buyer quickly, too. The longer a home sits on the market, the more the owner will be paying for a mortgage, taxes, HOA fees, and upkeep. The seller may have already moved out by the time a house is on the market, which could mean paying for two homes at once.
So, it’s in everyone’s best interest to sell quickly.