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Weekly vacation rentals in Ocean City: When is the best time to book?

When is the best time to book your weekly vacation rental for this summer? Contrary to our ordinary thought process, the time for reserving your summer rental is later rather than sooner.

Booking prior to January will limit your choices as much as booking too late will.  This is due to the practice of holding weeks for repeat tenants, who have first-choice each year. The procedure of holding properties for repeat tenants makes many weeks appear to be booked, although many of these “reservations” are simply tentative “holds.”

In reality, every January, many weeks are released and made available when repeat tenants do not commit to the time held for them.  Therefore, a week you thought was rented when you checked back in November may suddenly become available in January.

Take advantage of the slow time!

Historically,  March 15 – April 15 is a slow time in booking vacation properties. That time slot is known among local agents as the “tax slump.” The slower time of year provides opportunities for agents to spend more time with each prospective renter without the pressure of calls waiting on hold.

Renters may want to take advantage of the slow time to ask questions about the properties. Don’t be afraid to ask the agent if they have seen the unit, and what their opinion may be.

Ocean City, Maryland Vacation Rentals and Condo Rentals

Ocean City Vacation Rentals and Condos Vacation Rentals Navigation Renting a house or condo in Ocean City If you’re looking for a condo, it’s a renter’s market – OceanCity.com Historically, Ocean city condo rentals have been profitable and therefore have been considered sound financial investments.

Prices are not always set in stone

You might find a condo or townhouse that seems perfect for your family vacation, but the price is a little too high. Don’t accept a less desirable unit without making an offer on your “ideal location” first. After the first of March, some owners will agree to accept more reasonable offers. Agents are required to present your offer to the owner unless the owner has directed them to the contrary. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Later is better

The closer it is to the summer season, the greater the possibility that owners will reduce their prices. It is rare that a rate will not be reduced if you rent last minute (a week or less before check-in). In an effort to avoid “down time” or zero occupancy for a specific week, owners are more flexible.

Adversely, the closer to summer that a tenant waits to reserve, the fewer the options that will be available.   

Therefore, if you want a four-bedroom, oceanfront townhouse, you shouldn’t wait as long. Townhouses are fewer in number and much harder to locate. That being said, if you only need a one- or two-bedroom condo, you could wait until last minute and (more than likely) obtain a better price for the week of your choice.  Buzzfeed indicates 3-7 weeks prior to arrival is ideal.

Inspect the interior

View the rental property first

We highly recommend that tenants inspect the properties slated for their family vacation first, if at all possible. Even units in the same building may be vastly different in the ways they’re decorated or furnished.  If you are unable to personally view the units, real estate companies have websites that provides photos of the interior of the weekly vacation rentals available:  www.ezsummer.com

In some instances, you may want to speak directly with an agent before you book directly. That way, it’s possible to avoid misunderstandings or disappointments. Further, when you speak with an agent, you can place an offer rather than simply accepting the prices as stated on the site.

After booking your summer vacation, you may wish to also reserve a linen package for your stay.  A number of tenants fly in and are unable to bring linens. There are several local companies that will deliver (and pick up) linens to rental properties. Just ask your Realtor for a list of service companies.

Most of the same linen companies also have cribs, high chairs, boogie boards and umbrellas that are available to rent for the week.

Regardless of your idea of the perfect weekly vacation property, there is ample availability for this summer, allowing you to take your time on plans to make this summer the best family vacation ever.

Joanna Laslo
Joanna Laslohttps://www.oceancitybeachproperties.com
Broker/Owner of Beach Real Estate, Inc., a local that Graduated from Stephen Decatur High School.  35+ years of experience in real estate sales.  Joanna is a broker in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.  Joanna also manages Ocean City weekly condo and vacation rentals.

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