Selling a Northern Michigan home long-distance can be a serious headache—or a heavenly transaction. The difference? Finding a Realtor with turnkey seller services.

With the shifting economy, soaring inflation and surging interest rates, high-end Northern Michigan vacation properties requiring a just-right buyer can linger on real estate listings—sometimes for months.

But when a luxurious vacation home in Northern Michigan went on the market last summer, the seven-acre property along the coveted north shore of Lake Charlevoix generated a flurry of interest and sold in just weeks.

What made the difference? The out-of-town owners of the custom-built home chose a Realtor with the capacity to handle not only listing and marketing the property, but also showcasing the home’s story and providing the boots-on-the-ground service of readying the home for sale with white-glove care—a critical additional service for sellers who are handling a long-distance home sale.

The seller’s Realtor, Jamie Woodall of Jamie Woodall Real Estate Professionals with Berkshire-Hathaway Home Services, offers clients five-star, concierge-style assistance and extensive digital marketing. The Boyne City team specializes in high-end properties in Charlevoix, Antrim, Cheboygan, and Emmet counties (with many on Lake Charlevoix, Lake Michigan and Torch Lake) as well as greater Northern Michigan. Woodall also has outstanding real estate partners in the Traverse City and the Leelanau areas.

“We strive to be the premier marketing specialist,” Woodall says, who established his real estate services several years ago and has a long professional history in northern Michigan. “When we say Berkshire Hathaway home services, we are talking about taking services to a whole other level.”

That “whole other level” is aimed at making the transaction seamless for sellers, who often live outside the region or state.

Getting a Home Sale-Ready—from a Distance

When a $1.45 million home on Deer Lake was getting ready to list, sellers realized there was drywall work that needed to be done—and they were in no position to wrangle it. That’s why Woodall has a team of premier vendors on hand to step in and make minor home improvements, readying a property for sale. Those vendors cover landscaping, roofing, HVAC, drywall and painting and more. Team agent Brienna Roberts stepped in and within days had drywall pros working their magic at the Deer Lake property, with cleaners following up to leave the home sparkling.

“It’s important to know we are not talking about a full-on renovation, but about things that can be done in a month that would typically take the seller six months or more to complete and more time and energy,” he says. “It’s hard to think about all those necessary jobs and details up front… we step in and do those things for our sellers and save them time and money.”

The concierge services also include having an agent accompanying all showings. “We will be on the property if another agent is showing,” Woodall explains. “A lot of times the owners are out of the area and are concerned about who is on their property. They want to know the home is secure,” he says.

The Woodall team also keeps sellers up-to-date on showings and other matters through texts, phone calls or emails.

Marketing and Storytelling for a Quicker Home Sale

Sellers of luxury properties face some hurdles—challenges Woodall and his team are adept at overcoming. His team takes copious notes during the interview process to gather details and find out what the owners enjoyed most about the house, and then help translate those advantages and amenities to buyers who may not be as familiar with the location.

“A lot of second-home buyers and vacation investment buyers don’t know the area really well. We ask sellers, ‘What is unique and one-of-a-kind about the property?’” Woodall says, noting, for example, that access to trails or a downtown can be important to a buyer. “We try to help showcase the nuances and one-of-a-kind aspects of a property.”

For optimal marketing, Woodall offers a complimentary digital marketing campaign. His firm partners with top-rated photography and video media teams to capture aerial views, shots of the home throughout the day and night, and create virtual tours, “so the customer in California or Italy can ‘walk through’ and get a good understanding of the property.”

Visual services are paired with an advanced online digital marketing campaign to make sure the home pops up during searches on Google, Yahoo and other browsers. Woodall also partners with regional media companies to provide digital display advertising, another successful tool.

“I’m a bit biased, but I think we have the top digital marketing partnerships and campaigns for sellers in northern Michigan, if not greater Michigan,” says Woodall. “We’ve gotten a lot of buyers and a ton of traffic, even for homes that have been challenging to sell.”

A Charlevoix Case Study

That Charlevoix custom home sale? A perfect example of having a fully stacked team sweep in to handle all the details. Within two weeks, the 5,800-square-foot home was prepped for sale. Fresh mulch was spread among the landscaping. Screens were replaced. The driveway was resealed. A septic issue was resolved.

Using photos and digital marketing, Woodall also sold the story of the home, which was built and designed by Andre Poineau, a well-known custom builder. Built in 1990, the home with the open-floor layout exemplified Poineau’s style, with his custom woodworking throughout. The carefully chosen materials included marbled cypress from North Carolina, luxe-matte beechwood floors and maple.

“We told the story of the house,” Woodall says. “We talked to Andy about how he built the home and what he did. We put property fliers with the story of the home, paired with advanced digital marketing. It went viral.” The happy ending? The property sold for more than imagined—in just 30 days.