Quick Takeaways:

  • Leverage technology
  • Know what rents and what doesn’t
  • Get real about risk management
  • Help your clients factor in insurance upfront
  • Weigh out the pros and cons of property management options

Source: 5 Tips for Selling a Summer Home Quickly (RISMedia’s Housecall, June 18, 2019)

The resort and second-home market differs in a number of ways from primary residential market. Buyer interest ranges from small, rustic getaways to luxury properties, and includes an international clientele and the investment and retirement markets.

Buying, selling, or managing second homes in a resort, recreational, and/or vacation destination requires understanding of the recreation and lifestyle market, tax treatment of vacation and second homes, and real estate investment.

See References for more information.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.

Vacation/Second Hom​e Market Activity

People are snatching up vacation homes. And many are paying with cash. (CNN, Jun. 17, 2021)

Vacation home sales rose by 16% in 2020 from the year before, outpacing overall growth in existing-home sales last year which was 5.6%, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. And the trend has continued into this year with sales already up 33% through April over last year.

More People Are Buying Vacation Homes, but Where They’re Looking May Surprise You (realtor.com®, Apr. 20, 2021)

“[T]he data does not account for sales made in cash (a preferred method of vacation home purchasing for the wealthy), most of the places on this list aren’t the typical playgrounds of the uber-rich. Instead, we found a new crop of more out-of-the way destinations—relatively affordable, not too far from larger cities, and typically near water or the mountains”

Vacation Home Counties Report (National Association of REALTORS®, 2021)

  • In 2020, vacation home sales rose 16.4%, outpacing the growth in total existing-home sales of 5.6%.
  • In 2020, the median existing-home sales price typically rose by 14.2% in vacation home counties, compared to 10.1% in non-vacation home counties.
  • In 2020, the top 10 vacation home counties were in the states of Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and North Carolina.

Working With Vacation/Second Home Buyers

3 Things to Consider When Working with Second-Home Buyers and Sellers (RISMedia, Sep. 15, 2021)

Be ready to pounce if a property comes on the market in a location the client desires. With multiple offers now the norm, developing a coherent strategy is important. Setting proper expectations (and managing them) is vital whether you’re representing the buyer, seller or both.

I'm A Financial Planner, And There Are 3 Things I Always Tell Clients Before Buying A Vacation Home (Insider, Apr. 12, 2021)

How much use will the property get? How will it be financed? How will rental use be managed?

4 Things Financial Planners Wish People Knew Before Buying a Second Home (Insider, Oct. 20, 2020)

  • Buying a second home takes patience, preparation, and lots of savings.
  • Financial planners wish their clients knew all the expenses involved in owning a second home, because the costs add up.
  • They also wish their clients knew that they didn't have to have their first homes paid off before buying, and that rental income isn't guaranteed.

RSPS (Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist)

RSPS Certification (National Association of REALTORS®)

Find a RSPS Specialist (National Association of REALTORS®)

Resort Area and Second Home Specialty, (National Association of REALTORS®)

NAR Education Matrix—Resort and Second Home Markets, (National Association of REALTORS®)

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Buying a Second Home (eBook)

How a Second Home Can Be Your Best Investment (eBook)

Second Homes for Dummies (eBook)

The Complete Guide to Buying a Second Home or Real Estate in Mexico (Audiobook, eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Investing in a Vacation Home for Pleasure and Profit (Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western, 2006) HD 1341 B69

How a Second Home Can Be Your Best Investment (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2004) HD 1341 K28

REBAC Roundtable 2004, Volume II, Resort, Vacation and Second Home Markets (Chicago, IL: Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council, Inc., 2004) CD016

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


For Resort, Second Home, and Investment Real Estate Specialists

RSPS Certification

Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS) is a REALTOR® certification for specialists in buying and selling resort and second home properties.

Resort Course

The one-day Resort & Second-Home Specialist (RSPS) certification course is the course you need to earn the RSPS certification.