Take advantage of the warmer weather to show off your home
By Erik J. Martin
Your real estate agent isn’t the only friend you can count on for help selling your home this time of year. Mother Nature also can be a powerful ally in the summertime – if you know how to use her charms to enhance your abode and plan for the season accordingly, insist the experts.
Tracey Hampson, agent with Century 21 Troop Real Estate in Valencia, California, says listing your home between June and August can produce better results than listing at other times of the year.
“The days are longer, allowing more time to show your home, and buyers are more motivated and serious because they have a limited time to search before school starts again,” Hampson says. “The more buyers there are, the more likely you are to have multiple offers – thereby raising the price of your home.”
Sean Kelly, agent with Howard Hanna Real Estate in Pittsburgh, agrees.
“Selling your home in the summertime is more advantageous than the winter, due to the fact that more people are prone to attend open houses and request showings at houses,” Kelly says. “The summertime brings out serious buyers, semi-serious buyers and people not really looking to move at all but want to see what’s going on. That means a lot more attention and publicity is coming to your house in the summer. And even visitors who are not serious buyers might talk about your house to a friend who is more serious.”
Of course, some homes are easier to show during warmer weather months than others, due to preferred outdoor features like a swimming pool, attractive deck or patio or lush garden.
“One of the smart ways to assess whether this season is the best time to list your home is to examine the specific amenities of your property,” says Brad Malow, agent with New York City-based Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “Maybe you have a condo located on a top floor with astonishing sunlight and remarkable views, or perhaps your garden is in full bloom.”
But even if your residence lacks some of these attributes, you can maximize your summertime window to sell faster – and at a more preferred price – if you prepare carefully. Consider these tips:
- Boost your exterior curb appeal
“Keep the lawn cut and edged, keep bushes, trees and other landscaping properly pruned; use fertilizer and plant and maintain flowers for a nice visual touch,” Greg Chaplain, agent with The Real Estate Group, LLC, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, says.
- Blast the cool air
“Make sure you have the air conditioning on high during a showing or open house so that when a potential buyer walks in, he or she can breathe a sigh of relief knowing your home is cool and comfortable,” Hampson says.
- Let in the summer sun
Wash every window in your home, and open up shades and blinds to let in natural light when buyers visit.
- Provide seasonal refreshments
Have a pitcher of cold iced tea or lemonade ready for visitors or stock an attractive bucket with ice-chilled bottled water.
- Remove all traces of Old Man Winter
“Don’t have shovels or old bags of salt lying out on the front porch, and have all your winter clothes stored away in bins. You want to make sure you have your home staged and decorated for summertime, not winter or spring,” Kelly says.
- Carefully stage your exterior
“If you have great outdoor living space, use it as an asset to sell your house, which makes it feel as if the buyer is getting more home for their money,” Kelly says. “At least put out some nice tables and chairs, create a nice grilling area and perhaps borrow a friend’s fire pit to put on the other side of the yard.”
- Follow proper home showing protocol
Don’t invite anyone in who does not have a scheduled appointment, be sure to depart your home well before a scheduled showing, and be sure your property is in show-ready condition before leaving, Chaplain suggests.
Lastly, don’t forget the seller’s golden rule, regardless of the time of year: Price your home properly.
“Overprice your property and it doesn’t matter what season you choose to list your home in – you’ll have trouble selling,” Malow says. “Have your agent perform a comparative market analysis and be sure your pricing is in line with recent sales.”
© CTW Features