Why is Summer Not the Optimum Time to Sell a Home?
Summer is good for a lot of things, but home selling is not necessarily one of them. In fact, if you don't have to sell in the summer, you might get more for your home if you wait until fall. Why? Because in the summer
- People go on vacation
- Kids get out of school and require attention
- Summer activities distract
There's just too much going on during the summer to pay close attention to home selling. Most sellers would rather wait until everything calms down in the fall.
If You Must Sell Your Home During the Summer
Not everybody can wait until fall, though. Sometimes people need to sell during the months of June, July and August. They might be transferred to a new job in another state or be experiencing other pressing "life" issues that could necessitate an immediate sale. Here are a few things you can do help attract a summertime buyer who might be leaning instead toward lying in a hammock and sipping lemonade.
Don't ask me why but grass grows faster in the summer. Don't explain it to me, either, because I don't want to think about photosynthesis or chlorophyll. Your hair grows faster in the summer, too. Every other lawn cutting, try mowing on the diagonal to add dimension and curb appeal.
Curb appeal is what makes fairy-tale land leap from the pages of a landscaping book and into your front yard. Curb appeal creates lust, happiness and contentment. Trim the bushes. Plant flowers. Scatter mulch. Paint your house number on the curb. Sweep the walk. Make your entrance welcoming and warm.
Look around your yard for color inspiration. White is a pure summer color. Vivid blues have a calming affect. You can sweep away the cobwebs of winter by replacing accent pillows or throw rugs with brighter, summer hues.
If you have heavy drapes, remove them. They tend to make rooms look smaller anyway by encroaching on space. Pull all your blinds to the top and tape the strings underneath. Consider tie-backs if you don't already have them for holding open lighter drapes / curtains. The only time you would leave blinds closed is if there was an undesirable element on the other side of the window, i.e. a neighbor's trash can, and even then, open them slightly.
Due to daylight savings in most states, it stays light outside longer. Some people like to skip out of work early on a Friday. You might find buyers are more interested in touring your home in twilight hours, just after the dinner hour.
Where I live, in Sacramento, it doesn't rain in the summer. We can move perfectly good living room furniture to the back yard. Not only does moving out furniture free up more room inside the home, but it creates an outdoor living space with items you already own. It's an illusion created for a buyer that says yes, you can own this lifestyle, too.
Gold or silver or brass or pewter? Doesn't matter. Mix them, if you like. Old rules don't apply. Metals are summery. Vases, picture frames, mirrors, utensils, goblets, hanging planters to garden gnomes.
For me, in California, summer means red-and-white checkered tablecloths, potato salad, hot dogs and mustard and roasted corn-on-the-cob. Every part of the country has its own summer food traditions. In Maine, summer might mean juicy blueberries and clams. Fill the sink with ice cubes and chill bottled water for guests.
Sometimes, people go hog wild with the air fresheners. Vanilla is a popular scent but it can overwhelm sensitive noses. Try filling the air with natural fragrances such as those from cut roses or honeysuckle vines.
The only thing worse than a stuffy room on a hot day is a hot room. Circulate air. Even if you have to place floor fans about the home, keep the air moving. Turn down the AC to a notch below your comfort zone if the air outside is hotter than your comfort zone. Not so cold that your visitor's arm hair stands up. But chilly enough that they don't want to go back outside.
At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.