Summer is one of the most popular times to buy and sell a home. If you’re trying to decide whether or not to sell your home, the summer months are a prime time for real estate transactions, so you’ll have an ample audience of prospective buyers.
Selling a home during the summer involves more than slapping a “For Sale” sign in the front yard. Even with more buyers in the market, you may also face stiffer competition for their attention from other sellers. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to help your home stand out from the rest and find the right buyer.
Here are six things to consider when selling your home in the summer.
Summer is a particularly popular time for families to go house-hunting, because their children are out of school, making it an ideal time to relocate. If your home is close to a school or in a family-friendly neighborhood, it will be to your benefit to pick your listing date to coincide with when summer break begins in your community.
If you have children, it may be helpful to sign them up for day camps and to make plans for the early evening. Having these arrangements in place will remove the stress of shuffling your family out of the home every time an agent comes by to show your property.
Keep in mind that summer is also a prime time for vacations. You can use this to your advantage by scheduling your vacation right after listing. This will give your agent lots of time to schedule viewings without needing to work around when you will be at home. Just make sure your agent can reach you in case you get an offer.
While curb appeal is always a consideration when selling a home, it’s never more important than during the summer. With trees, bushes, and lawns lush and green and more flowers growing, your home’s landscape can make a positive — or negative — impression based on its condition. Take a little time every day, or make room in your budget to hire a service, to keep your landscape looking its best.
If your home is prone to flooding during rain, now is an ideal time to find solutions, such as keeping gutters in good repair and clear of debris, building a retaining wall, and adding storm windows in your basement. Check with your insurance company or mortgage broker to see if they offer any deals to help with these fixes.
You should also consider having your home’s brick or siding power-washed and your windows cleaned. On a sunny day, your home can sparkle. You should also repair any damaged shingles or siding, which will be more noticeable.
When selling your home during the summer, you can use the extra hours of daylight to your advantage.
Use the early daylight hours to do yard work, such as pulling weeds, mowing, and watering your lawn and plants. This is the coolest part of the day, which should make the work less exhausting for you. It’s also one of the best times of day for watering because the soil can saturate before the sun is fully in the sky and evaporates it.
You can also encourage your real estate agent to make your home available for evening tours. A home usually looks its best during the daylight, and these extra hours at the end of the day can help you show off your home to as many people as possible.
Before listing your home for sale during the summer, it’s a good idea to have your HVAC system checked out by a professional. Not only is an air-conditioning system with a clean bill of health a selling point for buyers, but it will make your home’s environment more comfortable during tours.
Check with your real estate agent to find out what temperature and humidity level you should keep your home at during open houses or tours. You want to keep your home cool, but you don’t want to make it so cold it’s uncomfortable and racks up your electric bill.
People don’t just buy a home with their eyes. All of the senses come into play, including the often overlooked sense of smell. During the summer, there are a few extra steps you should take to help your home make a positive impression on the olfactory senses.
First, be careful with where you store your trash bins during the summer. The hot temperature tends to speed up decomposition, which can leave a foul odor in the air, so try to keep your bins on the side of your home, away from entry points. Also, wait to toss out particularly fragrant waste — such as kitty litter and raw meat — until trash day.
You can add some positive scents to your home by adding a fragrant plant near your entrance, such as a rose bush, which will bloom throughout much of the summer. If you use an artificial freshener, aim for a lighter scent, such as fresh linens. Just don’t go overboard with any flowers or air fresheners as some people have sensitivities to scents. Ask your real estate agent for recommendations on scents to use and ones to avoid.
Summer’s warm weather also tends to bring a resurgence of insect activity. In particular, be on the lookout for ants, fruit flies, and mosquitoes.
To avoid having these unwanted guests showing up during a home viewing, check all access points in your home and make sure they are properly sealed. As a pre-emptive measure, you can treat trigger spots with pet-friendly sprays and traps. Ants and fruit flies also tend to make entrances through sink drains, so keeping your drains covered when they aren’t in use can prevent them from entering your home.
If you’re still seeing an increase in insect activity, it might be worth your time and money to hire a professional pest expert to come out and treat your home. Selling a home always comes with some expenses, and this one is well worth it to avoid turning off potential buyers.