Just like this year’s housing markets, the summer months are running at full steam! And while home sellers can certainly reap hefty benefits of hot markets, the scorching weather itself can be challenging for home listings that haven’t been properly prepared. If you’re thinking of listing your home soon, here’s how to ensure that selling during the summer doesn’t burn you — or anyone else — in the process!
The Summer State of Mind
When selling during the summer months, there are things buyers pay attention to that sellers simply don’t need to address as much for (if at all) compared to cooler months. For example, buyers don’t just want to know that the air conditioning works; they want to know how. Is it noisy? Is it efficient? Is there a warranty? They also want to know that you’ve taken care of the home — something that could easily be derailed by smaller (but no less significant) details.
To help you prep for selling in the heat, focus on these four areas of your home to maximize your buyers’ interest:
When prepping your home for selling during the summer, think in terms of smaller details that combine to create the whole package. For example, maybe some plants didn’t make it through the winter. Or, maybe you’ve got weeds sprouting up. Those small details can distract from even the most beautiful of home exteriors, so be sure to pull them up to create a clean canvas. And, this probably goes without saying, but always make sure your lawn is mowed and maintained at a decent length during the time your home is on the market.
To keep from getting overwhelmed, dedicate five minutes each day or when you go get the mail to pull some weeds and it’ll be the easiest maintenance you have. If your grass is looking a bit dull, take the guesswork out by purchasing a soil test to figure out what it needs. It might also be beneficial to hire a landscaping company while you’re selling your home to ensure everything gets and stays in top condition.
If it still seems too Herculean a task to tackle plants, yard maintenance, and landscaping, that’s ok! A planter filled with bright flowers or freshly planted blooming bushes can add an inviting pop of color in the front of your home, and can easily be purchased at your local nursery or hardware store. (Just don’t forget to water it!) If you’re still feeling stumped about how to make your curb appeal more appealing to potential buyers, check out these landscaping tips just for the summer.
Lastly, keep in mind…if you water your lawn in the mornings, make sure there are no puddles on the walkway or front entrance to your home. Line your walkway in solar lights to suggest to buyers that your home has been kept safe and secure.
One perk of the cold winter months is fewer creepy crawlers. But, when the temperatures rise, our little scuttling friends come out to play, often finding their way into our homes. While some random pests are simply a fact of life, most buyers don’t want to walk into a home only to be greeted by a trail of ants or swarm of flies.
If you haven’t had your home checked for pests in a while, it might be a good idea to call a pest control company before you decide on selling during the summer months. Not only can they help you identify any critter issues, they can also help you eradicate them prior to listing.
Once your home is on the market, keep in mind that common showing décor like a bowl of fruit in the kitchen can also be a tasty snack for fruit flies. A helpful tip? Consider using faux fruit instead. A fresh plate of cookies is welcoming for potential buyers, but also an invitation to sugar ants, so display them in a covered dish. Don’t leave out any dishes, and keep the home as tidy as possible at all times in case last-minute showings happen.
For more persistent pests, place some traps on the exterior of your home to stop them before they can even get in. If you’re worried about pesticide chemicals, many lawn care companies now offer all natural, environmentally friendly options.
There’s almost nothing more unpleasant than being trapped in a warm, humid, stuffy environment. It’s a common pitfall of selling during the summer, but it doesn’t have to be if you ensure your AC unit is running in optimal condition before listing your home. It’s a good general practice, and especially helpful when you know you’ll be selling, to have your ducts cleaned regularly to keep both your unit running in prime condition and your home allergen free.
Don’t forget to change your air filters 2-4 times a year minimum, to ensure optimum performance and to prolong the unit’s life. Prior to listing is the perfect time to have your unit serviced, so schedule an appointment with a professional to avoid any hassle or AC failure during the selling process.
Think about the first thing you want potential buyers to smell when they set eyes on your home. Is it clean, fresh air and blooming flowers? Perhaps freshly baked goods? Or is it warm, stinky garbage? If you’re selling during the summer months, keep in mind that trash bin odors are much more pervasive; and even if you don’t notice, sellers may not be so “nose blind.”
If there’s a location farther from entrances to your home where you can keep your garbage cans, relocate them there and do your best to keep them out of the sun if it’s possible. To help keep trash bin critters at bay, store discarded raw protein in your freezer until trash day and then dispose of it. If that’s too much to remember, you can also purchase pest strips that emit vapors to kill insects on contact and prevent new ones from hatching. (Keep in mind, though, these are only for outdoor garbage cans.)
Tips and Advice for Selling Your Home
For most of us, summer means sunshine, picnics and beach vacations. But for those selling during the summer, it also means prepping your home to keep it comfy, cool and critter-free for buyers. For more tips on how to sell your home, stop by the Homes.com How To Sell guide!