By Tom Salomone
Learn more about Tom on NerdWallet’s Ask An Advisor
If you are considering putting your home on the market, summer may be the perfect time. The frenzy of the spring buying season has ended, meaning there are fewer houses listed and competing for buyers’ attention. Tax refunds have been sent out, so potential buyers who have been saving for a down payment may now have the funds they need. And families hoping to get settled into a new home before the school year starts are abundant.
According to the National Association of Realtors, more than 40% of all home sales occurred during the months of May through August last year, meaning summer buyers are serious buyers. People visiting an open house in the summer aren’t window-shopping — they are looking for their next home.
So how can you make your house stand out in this market? Here are a few simple tips to help increase your chances of quickly finding the right buyer for your home this summer.
Maintain or revamp your home’s curb appeal
Your front yard is your home’s first impression, so make sure that it’s welcoming. Don’t let your lawn and flowerbeds suffer in the summer heat; keep all your plants well hydrated and mulched. Keep the grass trimmed by mowing as much as needed. Replant any unsightly brown spots and plant colorful seasonal flowers. And if your home’s façade is looking a little faded, give it a fresh coat of paint and perhaps spruce up your front porch or walkways.
Freshen up outdoor spaces
Pools can be huge selling points during the sweltering summer months, so if you have one, play it up by making sure the water is crystal clear and there is no debris floating on top. If your home has a patio, deck or outdoor kitchen, keep it clean and make any necessary repairs. These projects can be completed inexpensively and may make a much larger difference in the perceived value of your home.
Keep the inside cool and inviting
During the summer months, some people may spend more time inside to avoid the heat. Use this to your advantage during your open house by making your home extremely comfortable.
Houses can become hot and stuffy this time of year, so it is important to keep the air conditioning running. Just be careful with the temperature; you’ll want to make sure it’s not so cold that potential buyers will be searching for their sweaters, but cool enough that they won’t want to head back out into the heat.
Make sure to greet potential buyers the way you would guests and provide refreshing drinks. During the hot summer days, bring out a cold pitcher of lemonade or a cooler full of bottled water for would-be buyers. Embracing the season and spending a few extra dollars can help you stand out among the other houses for sale. It also can help potential buyers form a happy mental picture of spending the summer in this home and perhaps increase the dollar amount of potential offers.
Know your summer plans
Organize all of your summer vacation and getaway plans well in advance so you can list your home accordingly. Timing is everything when it comes to selling a home, and if you are going to be unreachable — at the beach, out of the country or anywhere without cellular service — your real estate agent needs to know. You don’t want time-sensitive offers to start coming in when you’re out of town.
Following these tips will help you take advantage of a hot market and make sure summertime is the right time for selling your home.