Summer is typically a great time to sell your home. If you’re like most sellers, you don’t want your home sitting on the market into the fall or worse. And you probably don’t want to spend your entire summer worrying about the sale either.
Selling could be a lot of work, but with the right preparation, you can save yourself some frustration down the road. Use the below strategies to help sell your property at the right time and the right price.
1. Fix to Sell
An easy way to scare away prospective home buyers is by not completing needed repairs prior to listing. This applies to any structural or cosmetic issues both inside and outside the home. Homebuyers these days are very savvy, and are likely to focus on expensive issues such as the roof, siding, HVAC systems, plumbing, and electric.
If you haven’t had an inspection on the home recently, you should consider having a pre-listing inspection. This is a great way to get ahead of any concerns the buyer might find, and to put their minds at ease. Make a list of the renovations you need, and tackle the most glaring issues first. The cost of a pre-listing inspection and necessary repairs is likely to be negligible compared to the impact it could have on your selling price.
2. Emphasize the Exterior
A great benefit of selling during the summer season is the opportunity to show off the outdoor living space. Now is the time to clean off that patio furniture and arrange a comfortable setting that your buyers could see themselves using. You may even have some indoor decorations or furniture that would look just as at home on the patio or deck. If your property has a pool or grilling patio, make sure to highlight them during tours.
Spend some time walking around the property, and think about how to create the best curb appeal. Mow the lawn at least once per week, trim those bushes, plant some flowers- anything to make the home and yard look more inviting. Remember, this is also going to be crucial for when you post pictures of the property online. According to a 2018 report from the National Association of Realtors®, the very first step for 44% of home buyers is to look at online properties for sale. Make sure the exterior catches their eye!
3. Decorate for the Summer Season
Once you’re finished sprucing up the exterior, it’s time to move on to the interior. There are a lot of different ways you could decorate to give your home a warmer vibe for summer. Floral, animal, and beach themes are all popular choices. Natural light is key- make sure to keep any curtains and blinds wide open for sunlight to flow through the home. Accenting your décor with plants, flowers, and bowls of fresh fruit can also help provide a more organic summer feel.
Regardless of the season, you’ll want the home to feel wide open and spacious. Go through each room and remove any unnecessary clutter so that your buyers have more freedom to move around. In some cases, you should also think about depersonalizing certain areas. Your buyers will be trying to envision themselves in the home, and certain personal effects could distract their imagination. Take some time to think about the things you’ll still need on a daily basis, and store everything else in a basement or attic temporarily.
4. Stay Cool
Buying a home can be an exhausting process, so providing some relief on a hot summer day could go a long way in closing the deal. Invite your buyers in from a hot day with a refreshing dose of A/C. While you don’t want the home to feel completely freezing, you do want a comfortable respite from the heat outside. You might be trying to save on that energy bill, but that cost is likely nothing compared to what you could lose on an offer with a hot, uncomfortable home during your showing.
If you’re having an open house with doors opening and closing all day, you might even want to set the thermostat a few degrees lower than normal to compensate for that additional heat. Keep the refrigerator stocked with cold beverages to offer your guests- and remember to actually offer!
5. The Price is Right… from the Start
Pricing your home correctly is likely to be the most important decision you make during the selling process. A common mistake many sellers make is to price their property too high so that there is room to negotiate. The problem with overpricing your home like this is that it may end up sitting on the market for much longer than intended. When a home is on the market for too long, many buyers will think there is something wrong with the home itself. In many cases, sellers who set the price too high end up getting a lower return on their property than if it had been priced more realistically from the beginning.
Do as much research as you can on other similar types of recent sales and current listings in your area, and find a competitive price that you would be happy with. A comparative market analysis prepared by a real estate professional will compile this data to determine the correct selling price for your home.
And speaking of real estate professionals…
6. Hire a Top Real Estate Agent
Having an experienced real estate agent in your corner is paramount to a successful home sale. A qualified professional will be able to advise you on all of the strategies covered above and much more. Do your research online and speak to at least a few candidates to determine the agent you want to work with.
Some of the things to consider asking potential agents about are their marketing and pricing strategies, how long their listings stay on the market, and their sale-to-list ratio. But also try to find someone who you’ll enjoy working with closely while your listing is on the market. A real estate agent can make or break your home sale, so choose carefully and listen to their advice.