The hot (and humid) summer months aren’t always the best time of the year to show your home to prospective buyers. Even though buyers have air conditioning in their cars, you have to convince them to get into their cars, and then get out of their cars, to tour your house. You do need to take some extra steps to make sure your home shows well in the summertime. Don’t skimp on air conditioning: No one will want to look at your home if it’s as hot inside as the temperature is outside. If your house is without central air conditioning, you might consider keeping the property off of the market until the fall. If you do have central air, get the unit inspected before putting the home on the market. Keep the thermostat around 72 degrees to cool and dehumidify your home. Home hunters may arrive on short notice, so leave the air conditioning on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Leave the lights on: Keep lots of lights on at all times — especially in the basement, hallways and other places that don’t get much sun. The easier you can make the showing of your home, the better. You don’t want the real estate agent who’s presenting your home to have to spend a lot of time searching for light switches. Also, open the drapes, curtains, shades and blinds to let in the sunlight – but wash your windows first.
Create a pleasant smell: Pet smells or musty basements are bad enough in cooler temperatures, but summer heat can make them unbearable. So, make sure you remove things such as kitty litter regularly, and consider relocating your pets for a while if that’s what it takes to keep your home smelling clean. If you tend to have a damp or musty basement, clean it with bleach to remove mold and mildew before putting the home on the market. Then use dehumifiers to keep everything dry. Since it is the summer, use summer scents. So instead of overdoing it with too many air fresheners, cut fresh flowers and use them for display. Water the front lawn, if at all possible: High water costs and summertime sprinkler bans can make green grass hard to come by, but you should keep your front landscaping looking good to maximize curb appeal. Have a clean front door: A nice front door makes a great first impression. Clean the front door at least once a week to keep it dust and pollen free.
Go away: Summer vacation or not, all occupants — including kids — must vacate the home any time would-be buyers drop by. You have to give the buyer and the real estate agent free rein of the house. A lot of buyers feel very uncomfortable looking at a home if the homeowner is there. And, no matter the season, work with a real estate professional to market your house: Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a Realtor’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a Realtor, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your Realtor will prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property. Most people sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each sale. Even if you have done it before, laws and regulations change. Realtors, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.