If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there’s nothing better than taking off and spending time at your own vacation home. With a vacation home, you’ve got your own little piece of paradise where you can relax without a care in the world.

As nice as vacation homes can be, you may find yourself thinking about selling a vacation rental home for various reasons. Maybe your vacation rental home is actually a timeshare you’re looking to get out of. Maybe you’re just looking to upgrade. You might even be looking to get a vacation home somewhere else.

Regardless of the reason, if you’re selling a vacation rental home, you need to know how to go about it the right way. These steps can help you unload your vacation rental home and move on to your next adventure.

Consider Why You’re Selling

Before you look into selling a vacation rental home, it might be a good idea to do some self-reflecting. Essentially, you should try and pinpoint the reason you want to sell your home and what you want the sale to look like.

Are you nearing retirement and looking to unload assets? Do you have a cause you’re passionate about that you want the sale to be a part of? Whatever the reason for selling, you should realize that your choice to sell will likely impact more than a few people, and you need to make sure all your t’s are crossed before a home is listed. If your family is involved in running the vacation rental for example, you need to talk with them before you just decide out of the blue to sell your home.


First things first, if your vacation rental home is a timeshare, there are any number of timeshare exit strategies you can get out and move on. If you’re wondering how to get out of a timeshare deal, your choices vary, but they essentially boil down to this: you can sell it, you can see if the timeshare company will buy the property back, or you can give it away, just to name a few options. If you’re really feeling the stress of trying to sell, consult a timeshare exit company, who can take care of all the hard work for you.

First Impressions

Let’s assume that you own your vacation home yourself and you’re looking to sell it. Whether you’re selling a cabin rental or a prime lake or ocean-front home, you need to make a good first impression.

If you’re selling a vacation rental home, you need to understand that a potential buyer’s first impression of your house may be hard to change. As such, you should do everything you can to really showcase your home and show it in the best possible light. Think about it, if you were buying a home, you’d be intrigued by homes that look good on the inside.

If you’re trying to show your home in the best possible light, it helps if the interior of your home matches the exterior. For instance, if you’ve got a lakefront home, the decor could have a lighthouse theme, a boat theme or a water theme. This makes it more appealing for a potential buyer and shows that you’ve really taken care to make this place feel like a home.

Be Honest

One of the most important parts of selling a vacation home is being honest with potential buyers about the rental history.

If you’ve rented out your property before, you need to be honest about how often it’s been rented out. The fact is that some buyers might be interested in renting out the property — perhaps as an airBnB, while others might be interested in keeping it for themselves.

So if you’re disclosing rental history, you should provide a list of the sites that your home is listed on, so that buyers can look at the property themselves. You should also be able to give buyers the rental income for your home and the number of nights your home has been rented out within the last year or two years.

Since you’re talking real estate if you’re selling a vacation rental home, you also need to provide buyers with the name of the property manager who’s in charge of overseeing the sale of your property.

Don’t Skip An Inspection

If a vacation rental sale is on the horizon, you need to have an inspection performed prior to it being listed for sale. Why? This will provide a stark look at what might need fixing before a property is listed. An inspection might lead to the discovery of a needed garage door spring repair or an upgrade of the home’s plumbing system. In short, an inspection removes the possibility of any surprises coming up when buyers come to check out the property.

Believe it or not, selling a vacation rental home is different from selling a permanent residence. For one thing, many vacation home buyers usually don’t have very long to look at different properties, so when they do, they’re often looking at several over the course of a day or two. As such, you, the seller, should give a potential buyer as much information as possible about your property. The more secure they feel, the more likely they are to be interested in buying.

Do Your Tax Diligence

Selling a vacation rental home can be difficult for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest problems people run into with selling second homes is calculating capital gains taxes. Taxes are always something to keep up with — whether you’re calculating child tax credits for your permanent residence or you’re trying to figure out capital gains tax on a rental home.

Bottom line, before you sell, you need to make sure your finances are in order. If you need help, consulting CFO services is a good idea since they can help you determine the type of property you have and what type of taxes you need to pay. With that information, you can strategically plan how and when to market your home.

What Does The Sale Look Like?

Before putting your rental up for sale, think about what you want the sale to look like. Maybe you’d like the next owner to run the property as a vacation rental just like you did. Maybe you want the owner to turn the rental into luxury sober living housing because you’re passionate about helping people in need get back on their feet. Once you’ve determined how you want the sale to go, you can plan your sales pitch accordingly and identify the right buyers to talk with.

Timing Is Everything

When selling a vacation rental home, one of the top variables — if not the top variable in selling — is timing. If you can sell your home prior to the peak season, you can often command a high premium. Depending on what time of the year you sell it, you may find either more buyers or fewer buyers interested in your home. Your property manager can help you big time in this regard, advising you on what you need to do to get ready and when to put your home on the market.

Showcase Your Home

As previously mentioned, first impressions can be everything when selling a home. That’s certainly true and you’ll want to put some personal care into making your home ready to show when buyers come to visit.

But just because you need to slap a new coat of paint on something or make some needed repairs doesn’t mean you can showcase all the things that make your rental great. If you’ve got a pool, for example, don’t be afraid to show it off. It’s a great selling point, especially if you live in a warm weather state. If you’ve got a storm shelter, that could be another added bonus for a buyer, especially if your home is on the coast and deals with hurricanes and harsh weather. If you’ve got a custom-built backyard hangout, that can be a major draw — and pair well if you have a pool — since it’s not something you’re likely to find at other rental homes in the area.

If you’ve put some TLC into your vacation rental home, don’t be afraid to let that love shine through. If a buyer feels the love that you have put into the home, they’re going to know that you’re honest and may feel comfortable enough to make an offer.


The value of your vacation rental home depends on many factors. Location is one factor, the condition of the property is another. The price is also going to depend on what sort of amenities you have to offer and what the price of other homes in the area is. Much like a condominium association management team sets the price of fees for a condo association based on a variety of factors, a good realtor can help set a good price based on all the factors listed above.

When selling a vacation rental home, consider the following:

  • Vacation homes are often more remote than a permanent residence, away from businesses and essential services, so it may not appeal to every buyer.
  • Even if a buyer is looking to buy a home to make it a rental, that doesn’t always make it easy to sell.
  • Some vacation rentals can be difficult to access, and thus can be difficult to market.

Ramp Up The Curb Appeal

As previously mentioned, first impressions are important when selling a vacation rental home, and that not only means making the interior sparkle, it also means ramping the curb appeal way up. It means that it’s time to fix up all your garden spaces, and maybe even plant a few flowers ahead of time. It means making sure your lawn is looking good and all the weeds are removed from your driveway. For good measure, you should wash the windows too.

The more inviting you can make a home look on the outside, the more likely a potential buyer is to stop and want to take a look inside. Remember that potential buyers may be trying to look at several homes in a day, so if you can catch their eye, you’re doing something right.

In Summary

Selling a vacation rental home isn’t always the easiest thing in the world to do. But if you do everything in your power to showcase your home, you can make the process a lot easier. Take time to really improve the curb appeal and make sure the same care is paid to the inside of your home.

Talk to tax professionals about what you might need to pay in capital gains tax and cross off any other financial to-dos off your list. Time your sale right to make sure you’re drawing as many potential buyers as possible. Keep in touch with your realtor as often as you need to figure out how things are going and what you need to do as the seller to help your realtor showcase your home.

If you’ve got family involved in running and maintaining your rental home, be sure to consult them before you decide to move ahead with a sale. Remote team building services can help you all come together for a common goal, and help make the sale easier.

Regardless of your reason for selling a vacation rental home, make sure you’ve thought about it thoroughly and carefully. If that’s truly what you want to do, you can put your best foot forward and put all your energy into it.

You might also enjoy:

Leave A Comment

Follow by Email