How to sell your holiday home

It may come as a surprise but selling a second home, holiday home or holiday letting property in Snowdonia, North Wales or the Cambrian Coast often needs a special approach, which is slightly different than if it was your main residence that you were selling.

Selling your holiday home

Often our clients are selling their second homes due to changing phases in their life and new ambitions. Other things contribute to making the decision to sell such as their family don't use the home as much anymore or there is insufficient time to maintain the property. Eventually, for most people, there comes a point where it's desirable to liquidate the valuable capital tied up in a second home. The cash can be put to exciting other uses such as moving up market with a main home, travelling or helping younger family on to the housing market. Make sure you understand why you are selling and what your end goal will be.

Next consider these main points to start with:

  • Preparations for selling
  • Presentation
  • Marketing
  • Viewings


Preparations for Selling

If your home is a holiday let then preparation concerning presentation of the property should be minimal as it will probably be maintained and cleaned on a weekly basis. Advance thought should be given to how far ahead the property is booked up for letting as potential buyers may not want to take over those bookings. Check your contract and speak to your holiday letting agent to make sure how much notice you have to give them as well as you may be contractually tied in for a while!

The main reason people want to buy a holiday let is for investment purposes, it is therefore paramount that you are able to give letting figures to potential buyers. They will be interested in where it is advertised, the agent you use, whether cleaners would help with changeovers in the future, number of weeks occupancy, annual income and figures on expenditure for heating, electricity, etc.

If your second home is not a holiday let and is just used by your own family, preparing the property for sale and getting it nicely presented may be more difficult for you if you live several hours drive away. Very often second homes don't get the same regular care and attention lavished on them as main homes do, so starting to spruce it up well in advance is usually a good idea. It's also worth thinking about arranging for heating to be switched on in advance of viewings when selling in the winter and making sure arrangements are made to keep the garden looking its best in your absence.



Getting your second home really well staged and presented can sometimes be easier when it's not occupied 7 days a week. The payoff for your efforts in this respect could be huge when it comes to the selling price and timescale. If the property is likely to be sold to somebody else using it as a second home and it is currently furnished appropriately, there is also a good chance the buyer want the convenience of buying furnished and may pay extra for the contents.


First of all decide who is likely to buy the property and pay the best price – With all the additional expense of extra Land Transaction Tax and a premium on council tax in Gwynedd the new owner may become increasingly likely to buy it as a main home as the demand for second homes becomes slightly weaker.

Rather than push for viewings on some holiday homes and B&B's we've dealt with, we've worked on persuading buyers to book a stay themselves – this way they will get immersed in the full lifestyle experience.

Depending on who your target buyer is, it may also have an effect on the best time of year for a change of ownership. It is probably true to say that anybody purchasing a buy to let holiday home would have a preference not to take over mid season and start their business at the beginning of the year in spring and may be even want to own it a little in advance to start advertising it prior to this.



This is one of the thorniest subjects with selling a second home. Just when a second home is likely to be occupied or rented out will coincide with peak periods of viewing enquiries.

If you regularly have the same change over day of the week and it is the only time viewings are possible, this should be made abundantly clear on the sales particulars so that potential buyers can plan their appointments in. If this is not done in advance, it is a virtual certainty many good buyers will miss out on an opportunity to view by not making their arrangements far enough in advance. We had a holiday let for sale last year which didn't sell all summer, changeover days were on Friday afternoons. It was no coincidence that it eventually sold on the very first Saturday afternoon it was available to view, when it wasn't booked up.

If you don't do the viewings yourself and have nobody locally to conduct them it is imperative that you establish that your estate agents is able to conduct the viewings on a fairly flexible basis so you don't lose selling opportunities.

I hope you have found something useful. Contact me for further help by telephoning our office or using the box below.

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