Late Spring and Early Summer | Not the Best Time, But Not Impossible.
Whether you have a $100 suitcase-style portable ice fishing house built in 1984 or an 2019, $45,000.00 deluxe ice fishing mansion on wheels, selling an ice fishing house during the late spring or early summer is statistically the toughest time of the year for a seller to put their ice house on the market. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, many anglers are feeling the pressure of tight finances. Selling their Ice Castle or Yeti may be one of the only options they have to get by during these unprecedented times.
By the late spring to early summer, most anglers have switched over to open water fishing or have taken a break from fishing altogether. Buying or investing in an ice fishing house during this time is not on the minds of many ice anglers. However, die-hard ice anglers are always looking for a good deal, and many hate sleeping in tents but love camping. For those selling an ice house this time of year, targeting this niche group of die-hards will have to be your primary focus.
Selling an Ice Fishing House During a Pandemic
Not only do the effects of COVID-19 tighten the wallets of many, but social distancing also makes it difficult to sell any large ticket right now, let alone during an off-peak time of the year. Fewer people are willing to travel and meet sellers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A seller that needs to sell their ice fishing house quickly must consider this. If a buyer turns into a driveway of the seller and sees them not wearing a face mask, that buyer may simply turn around and leave. A seller may have a buyer show up who is not wearing a facemask. Where the sale goes from here is based on those involved. FishHouseList.com is not advocating anyone taking any risks during this pandemic. Our reason for bringing this up is any seller or buyer needs to take COVID-19 and social distancing into consideration during these times.
Ideal Times During the Year to Market Your Ice Fishing House
For perspective, we wanted to share the ideal times during the year to sell a fish house. The optimal time of year a seller has the highest potential of selling their fish house while obtaining a premium price is between August and December. Here at FishHouseList.com, we see our highest surge in visitor traffic from late August to early October. Depending upon when the lakes freeze over, we generally see another substantial bump in visitor traffic as soon as the ice is thick enough to support a vehicle.
When selling an ice fishing house, either big or small, cheap or expensive, we here at FishHouseList.com highly recommend that sellers, if at all possible, wait until the above mentioned optimum time of year to list their ice fishing houses. With that said, FishHouseList.com is here year-round to help sellers part ways with their fish houses.
Five Great Tips to Sell Your Ice Fishing House in Late Spring and Early Summer
Tip One: FishHouseList.com
For the would-be seller, getting their ad/listing, along with the house itself, in front of prospective buyers is the quickest way to sell any ice fishing house. When selling an ice fishing house during an off-peak period of the year, it becomes the number one priority. The best place for a seller to start is here at FishHouseList.com. Listing an ice house for sale on FishHouseList.com is very easy and straight forward. We offer both front-end premium listings and free listings for those who register with our website.
The quickest way to spread the word in detail about an ice fishing house for sale is to create an extremely detailed listing at FishHouseList.com and use this listing as the home base. A seller who lists their ice fishing house with us is given an entire webpage to promote it, allowing a seller to go further with their listing on FishHouseList.com than they would be allowed on other classified websites.
A seller’s listing on FishHouseList.com should include complete details and specs on all features and amenities, along with all images inside and out, and, if available, a YouTube walkthrough tour video. The seller can easily share a URL link that points directly back to the listing anywhere on the internet. This saves them a lot of time and hassles, not having to re-type details and re-upload images over and over again.
Tip Two: Facebook:
There are many online resources to market an ice fishing house for sale, but the best source to use is FishHouseList.com. Once a listing on FHL is created, the next stop should be Facebook. There are many great social media platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram that are highly encouraged and should be utilized. However, the best social media outlet for marketing exposure is Facebook Groups, mainly when the topic includes selling an ice fishing house. Facebook offers groups that are dedicated exclusively to selling fishing equipment. More specifically, there are groups structured around selling ice fishing related gear. Search Facebook for groups that focus on selling fishing equipment.
On an additional note, if an Ice Castle or Yeti wheeled house is being listed/sold, it is also a good idea to search Facebook for groups connected to selling RVs and campers.
Be prepared for a waiting period when joining Facebook Groups. In most cases, a request to join a Facebook Group will have to be approved by an admin or moderator of the group. Although an FB group approval could be instantaneous, most likely, it will take anywhere from a few hours, up to a few days. Once approved, access to the group’s feed is gained, and permission to post within the group’s timeline is granted. From there, highlight and copy the URL linking back to the listing from FishHouseList.com and paste it into your group post. Once the link is pasted into the post, the FHL listing title, along with a small description, and the main image connected to the listing will auto-populate and appear. Nothing further is needed other than hitting the “post” button and finding the next FB Group to post to.
Beyond posting to Facebook Groups, there is also the Marketplace, which is Facebook’s answer to classified ad listings. Unfortunately, posting the URL link back to the fish house detailed listing at FishHouseList.com will not auto-populate like it will a group timeline post. A word of warning for those who are new to Facebook or created their account within the past month or so. Newly created Facebook accounts do not have instant access to Facebook’s Marketplace. Facebook did this to discourage new accounts used to spam their Marketplace. It will take around a month of active and legitimate account usage before the FB Marketplace link will show up, and access is granted.
Tip Three: Freshening the Interior and Exterior Appeal
If the previous winter saw an extended and long ice fishing season, or the house hasn’t been used in many years, take advantage of nice weather days and completely clean and freshen up the outside and inside of the ice house. This tip seems pretty obvious, but it is amazing how many sellers neglect to do basic cleaning before showing their ice fishing house.
Some quick ways to freshen up an ice fishing house to help its sellability:
- Old fashioned elbow grease, soap, and hot water. Clean surfaces and areas subject to dirt and grim and high traffic.
- Cleaning windows and screens.
- Opening up the windows and airing out, while using air freshers to get rid of smells. Do not overdo it on the air freshening. Potential buyers may be turned off by strong odors, even if it’s a pleasant but strong smell.
- Using spray paint or brushing on new paint where needed. Areas to touch up with paint include:
- Undercarriage frame area
- Lower trim/seam of the exterior
- Wheel wells
- Trailer tongue and tongue jack
- Frame lifting and lower crank and handle
- Rear bumper
- Fold-down entry step
- Steel rims
- Using Muriatic acid to make aluminum wheels look like new.
- Making sure to use protective gear in a well-ventilated area, mix one cup of muriatic acid with ten cups of hot water in a bucket. Apply Muriatic acid/water mixture to the aluminum trailer wheels using a sponge or rag. Alternatively, the mixture could be poured into a handheld spray bottle, then sprayed on to the aluminum wheel. Let the solution soak on the wheel for 1-5 minutes until the desired level of cleanliness is achieved and rinse with cold water.
- Clean and wipe down all interior walls, especially if cigarettes were smoked inside the fish house.
- Wash and dry all draperies and curtains.
- Wash and dry bedding, seat cushions, rugs, or anything cloth (Febreeze if necessary).
- Clean cooking surfaces of cooktop and inside of the oven
- Clean out microwave or toaster.
Freshening Tip: Instead of using aerosol cans of air freshener, consider using fabric softener dryer sheets. More expensive fabric softener dryer sheets like Downy’s Infusion Bliss Scent sheets don’t smell like ordinary fabric softener dryer sheets. They put out a stronger yet subtle scent that lasts longer than standard dryer sheets. Fabric softener dryer sheets have also been known to discourage rodent activity. The smell from them prevents mice from staying or even entering an area.
Tip Four: Minor I
Investing in minor improvements and updates can play a significant role in an ice fishing house’s appeal and sellability. Here, the adage of spending money to make money comes into play. As long as any cost behind the improvements and upgrades can be justified, spending a little money now can help sell your house much quicker in the long run.
Cheap improvements and upgrades include:
- New window curtains and rugs.
- New shower curtain and bathroom decor.
- Repairing damaged windows and screens.
- Replacing broken or damaged exterior lighting and taillight lenses.
- Replacing any blown light bulbs both inside and outside.
- Replacing broken or damages electrical switches.
- Changing interior and exterior lighting to LED.
- Recaulking and sealing exterior seams and around windows.
Substantial Improvements include:
- Installing LED lighting strips around the exterior top roof edge of the house.
- Installing LED lighting strips around the exterior bottom edge of the house.
- Installing new tires and repacking wheel bearing.
- Replacing old 12v deep cycle batteries.
- Replacing trailer lighting wiring.
- Installing new skids or upgrading old wood skids to steel (permanent ice fishing house).
Tip Five: Price House Accordingly and Entertain Every Buyer
A hard to pass up, good deal, will motivate those who would never have purchased.
If an ice house owner is highly motivated to part ways or required to sell during an off-peak time of the year, plain and simple, it becomes a buyer’s market. First, determine a rock bottom selling price. Compare it to other comparable ice fishing houses currently on the market.
At best, a highly motivated seller has one week to test the waters on a higher asking price. After one week, if there are no prospects, the price must be lowered to motive interest and pique the attention of potential buyers. If the price is not lowered, the ice house runs the chance of becoming a stale purchase.
No money should be left on the table, but alternatively, listing an ice house at an unrealistic selling price will ensure it never gets sold. If a highly motivated seller needs a quick sale, pride should take a backseat and let pricing aggressively allow a quick sale.
Lastly, a highly motivated seller should be following through and following up on all interested parties that inquire about their fish house. If there is anything the seller can do within reason to accommodate a buyer, to get them out and view the house, nothing should be off the table. Some motivators a seller should consider would include:
- Taking time off work to show the ice house.
- Returning phone calls and not missing phone calls.
- Checking your email timely throughout the day and responding within one hour of an inquiry.
- Willingness to travel to show the house.
- Entertaining all reasonable offers.
- Waiting results in losing a sale 99.9% of the time.
However, the bright side is a buyer is always around the corner, and with patience and perseverance, an ice fishing house will eventually sell.
The above is FishHouseList’s top five tips to help you sell your ice fishing house during off-peak periods of the year. Please let our staff know if you have any questions. We are here to help!
FishHouseList.com Seller’s Team