Selling your home this summer? Well, you’re not alone. Approximately 60% of all properties that are bought and sold during the year occur during June, July, and August. Below you’re going to find a number of tips to help you get your home sold fast.
Unless the idea of selling your home was a spontaneous one, you may need a few weeks head start to get this stuff done to be ready for the big buying season. Some of these tips may be obvious but some may not.
The tips below will go hand in hand with the with the entire process of selling your home.
Great Tips for Selling Your Home This Summer
Buyers will want a cool refuge after walking around multiple properties in the summer heat so make sure to crank the AC up a little when you know your home is going to be shown.
Keep it Bright
Be sure to turn on all of the lights and open the shades for a showing. When coming in from the bright sunshine your eyes need to adjust and sometimes the inside of your home will appear dark. Light and bright looking homes will sell your home during the summer.
Most of us keep our homes clean but when selling your home, your goal should be spotless. Cleaning is one of the least expensive improvements that you can make when preparing to sell your home. Some sellers opt to have their house professionally cleaned and others just take it on themselves. Whatever the case, it needs to be done.
Removing anything that is remotely negative is a top priority to sell your home and dirt, dust, and grime make the list.
This is a task that is much needed by many home owners across the country. It’s also a task that probably needs to be planned well in advance of listing your home to sell. De-cluttering is basically removing everything from your property that is not needed to live on a daily basis.
What’s the benefit? Your home will appear more spacious and buyers love space.
The psychological affect of de-personalizing your home is bigger than you might think. When trying to sell your home in any season, buyers will want to picture themselves in the property, not you. Plus, you want their focus to be on the layout of the home and not a picture of the fish you caught 10 years ago or the supreme collection of Star Wars figurines. Make sense?
Don’t Forget Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are one the most neglected items when it comes to cleaning. (I know because I just looked up at mine, ugh). So, grab a ladder and take care of that dusty mess and make sure they are all on during showings. It will help keep your home cooler and provide nice air flow during the “dog days of summer”.
There’s nothing better on a hot day for a buyer to come into your home with an inviting pitcher of Iced Tea or Lemonade on the kitchen counter. You could leave out a few glasses and a note saying, “Thank you for considering our home. Please enjoy a cold beverage while you’re here.”
If you know that you’re going to have several showings in a short amount of time, consider filling your kitchen sink with ice and water bottles.
Curb appeal is the first impression your potential buyers will get as soon as they pull up to your home. We’ve all been there before when we bought a home in the past. We automatically start forming opinions of the property before we even get out of the car (despite how many pictures were online). Here are some great tips that you may haven’t thought of before to spruce up the curb appeal of your home.
You may not need to spend the time and money to repaint the exterior of your home. Instead, just give it a good, high-quality cleaning. Power washing with a little bit of bleach will kill any unwanted mildew and make your home shine.
Be sure to power wash your porches, decks, and patios as well. They will brighten up in no time.
Tackle the Obvious
All homes break down over time and you want buyers to have the least to do once they potentially move in. Trust me, they will be eye balling your property in detail.
There are many repairs or updates that you can make to the outside of your house with very little time or money. Whether it’s re-caulking some wood trim or replacing a shingle, walk around your home and scrutinize your property as if you were the buyer.
Fresh Coat of Paint
If power washing doesn’t quite do the job, you may consider giving your home a fresh look with a new paint job. Depending on how much “paint-able” surface you have, you may be surprised what a weekend and a couple of gallons of paint can do for your home. If it all possible, stick with neutral colors or tones that are easy on the eye. You’re going for appeal that will please the masses.
At the very least, it’s always a good idea to paint your front door and surrounding trim work. The entryway should look clean and inviting.
Front Door Hardware
While curb appeal is the first impression that a buyer gets when driving up to your property, your front door is the first impression they get when entering your home. Your front door should look sharp. Paint or re-stain/polyurethane if you think that it needs it but you should also consider changing out the door knob and locks. Make the entryway sharp! You could even add an attractive door knocker.
Mow Your Lawn
This sounds obvious because we are going to mow anyway, however the tip is to mow your lawn twice a week. This is definitely a must if you live in an area like I do in lower Alabama where we get frequent summer showers.
Keep Your Lawn Green
If you live in an area that doesn’t see much rain, invest in an inexpensive sprinkler to keep your lawn looking great. Brown grass does not sell homes!
Give Your Flower Beds a Face Lift
No one really loves to pull weeds and your buyer won’t want to either. So, why give them one more thing to think about doing after moving into your house? Pulling weeds, adding mulch, and planting some color will pay off big dividends to attracting a buyer to your property this summer.
Trees and Shrubs
Take some time to trim your shrubs and any tree limbs that may be blocking your windows. Obviously during the summer, trees will be full with leaves and you want as much natural light into your home as possible.
Enhance Outdoor Living Areas
Summer is the perfect time to highlight the outside of your home when selling. Position outdoor furniture on your deck, patio, and porches to create additional living spaces. You may even consider buying additional chairs and tables to make a bare area more inviting.
Top it off by positioning large pots in the area filled with summer flowers. You want potential buyers to see themselves living in your home and outside of your home.
We all know that summer brings out the creepy crawly’s and most people do not like spiders. Be on a daily lookout for spider webs inside and out. Although every property has to deal with spiders, taking away one more negative thing for the buyer to think about, the better.
You want buyers to focus on how great the house looks from the road, not the huge Writing Spider that’s parked himself next to the front porch stairs.
Hire a Seasoned Realtor
There’s a reason why less than 10% of home owners sell their property without the help of a Realtor. Actually, there are about 20 reasons. If you want to sell your home this summer, working with a top notch agent will greatly improve your chances of making more money, reducing stress, and improving the amount of time your home is on the market.
Selling your on your own may sound appealing in a way but you should definitely read about the downside to selling FSBO before making your decision.
As you look for a Realtor to work with, keep these things in mind:
- Are they a full-time Realtor?
- How long have they been in real estate?
- Will they constantly communicate with you concerning the sale of your home?
- How will they market your property?
- Are they internet savvy?
Time for a Price Reality Check
The number one tip for selling your home this summer is to properly price your home. There’s an old adage in real estate that says, “every home will sell at the right price”. That is so true, however, the idea is to get you the best possible price while not letting your property go stale on the market. There’s an art and a science to doing that.
There are many factors to pricing your home correctly and a seasoned agent who knows what they’re doing and the market conditions can do that for you.
Yes, we all feel that our property is worth more than it probably is but get with your Realtor. Allow them to give you the reality of the marketplace. You’ll be less frustrated and will probably realize a bigger profit in the long run.
Consider a Pre-Listing Home Inspection
I have always thought that purchasing a home inspection before you list your home is a great idea. Many times sellers are blind-sided when they receive an inspection report from their new buyers because they had no idea that problems even existed.
When’s the last time you went into your attic or crawlspace?
There are several benefits to getting an inspection prior to listing:
- You won’t be surprised of needed repairs.
- You have additional time to work with in order to receive different quotes to get the best price.
- It gives the buyers added assurance that you take care of the property.
Read more about getting a pre-listing home inspection here.
Be Flexible for Showings
Because of the longer days of Summer, buyers may opt to want to see properties later in the day versus having to leave work early. In order to sell your home fast, you will want to be as accommodating as possible.
While your home is on the market to sell, try to be easy going when it comes to someone wanting to set up a tour (within reason). Typically, Realtors will set up a showing a day or two in advance. But, they may find themselves in a situation where the buyers have to leave town and want to see your home in a few hours. Because of daylight savings time, you may have a buyer that wants to come by after dinner. Just do the best that you can.
Provide School Information
This is one that you may not have thought of but in our area, buyers relocate here from all over the country. They might not know anything about the different school districts of the county.
You or your Realtor could provide school stats that relate to your location for grade schools as well as colleges.
How Much Do You Owe?
Most home owners have an idea what they owe on their mortgage but you don’t want to be off $1,000 or so when trying to determine what your proceeds will be at closing. The answer to this question is quickly rectified by making a call to your mortgage company. This figure can then be calculated into your net sheet given to you by your Realtor.
What Are Your Closing Costs?
In Alabama, Realtors by law have to provide an Estimated Closing Costs Sheet to both buyers and sellers. For sellers, we’ll calculate all of the debits involved in the sale and subtract those amounts from the eventual sales price.
Common closing costs will involve your loan payoff, commissions, transfer of taxes, recording fees, title insurance fees, and attorney/title company fees.
By knowing exactly what your bottom line is from the time you receive an offer will give you peace of mind and help you make your decision in accepting the offer.
Think About Outside Costs
While saving money is a good idea in general, you definitely want to take it to another level when selling your home. Avoid splurging on big ticket items while your in the process of selling.
You’re going to have a number out of pocket expenses that will come into play outside of closing:
- Down payment for your next home.
- Moving expenses
- You may have to place items in storage.
- If your new home isn’t ready when you close on your existing home, you’ll have to think about short term living condition.
- Money lost from being out of work because your moving or packing.
- Deposits for utilities.
For most home owners, their taxes and insurance are rolled up into their mortgage payment. However, its always a good idea to check with your city and county to make sure that your property taxes are paid in full before closing.
How’s Your Credit?
Since you’re probably going to be buying another home after selling your current property, make sure to check your credit score well in advance of listing your home to sale. You never know if you have a flaw or a mistake on your credit report that you can resolve before you will need it.
Additional Resources for Selling Your Home This Summer:
Do you live in lower Alabama and want to sell your home or condo? Please reach out to me from the information below.