Sizzling 100 degree temperatures have been blanketing the country in recent weeks, but some potential buyers may be more reluctant to go house shopping in the heat. How can you still draw the buyers out?
"Even though buyers have air conditioning in their cars, you have to convince them to get into their cars -- then out of their cars -- to check places out," Brad Knapp, a National Association of REALTORS® regional vice president, told The Street.
Here are eight showing tips for the hot weather, according to Knapp in a recent article at The Street.
1. Keep it cool. It’s not the time to penny-pinch on the air conditioning. Knapp says home owners without central air conditioning will be at a big disadvantage, and he says they might even consider keeping their home off the market until the cooler days of fall. As for home owners who do have central air, he recommends keeping the thermostat around 72 degrees.
2. Leave the lights on. This is another area where you'll have to skip energy efficiency for a while. Knapp says it's important to keep lots of lights on at all times -- especially in the basement, hallways and other places that don't get much sun. "You don't have to light your house up like a Christmas tree," he says, "but you don't want an agent who's showing the home to have to spend a lot of time pawing for light switches."
3. Watch the smell. The warm weather can cause odors in the home to become even stronger, such as pet smells and musty basements, Knapp says. Have your sellers remove the kitty litter box, relocate the pets for showings, and clean any musty basements with bleach. He also recommends using a dehumidifer to make sure the home stays dry. Knapp also suggests giving a house a "homey" smell by using essential oils and scented candles that smell like apple or cherry pie.
4. Tend to the lawn. Curb appeal is important but Knapp acknowledges it can be a challenge in sizzling hot weather and when a city has water restrictions in place. "Try to keep the front yard as green as possible -- but you can forget about the backyard if you have to," he says. "Most buyers are astute enough to know that if all of the backyards up and down the street are brown, there really isn't a problem if yours is too."
5. Pay attention to doors and windows. Front doors can be filled with summer pollen so make sure your sellers give it a nice clean at least once a week, Knapp suggests. He also suggests regularly cleaning the windows — both the inside and out — to make sure they sparkle.
6. Provide school information. Most schools are closed during the summer, but school boards, superintendents and other top people typically work year-round and can provide tours or answer house hunters' questions. Knapp suggests leaving brochures and contact information for all nearby public and private schools on a table in your home where would-be buyers can see them.
7. Go away. Summer vacation or not, all occupants -- including kids -- must clear out of the home any time would-be buyers drop by. "You need to pack your kids up and go out for ice cream whenever a buyer is coming," Knapp says. "You have to give the buyer and the real estate agent free rein of the house. A lot of buyers will feel very uncomfortable looking at a home if the seller is there."
8. Declutter. Regardless of when you put your home on the market, Knapp recommends throwing out, giving away or storing off-site as many things as possible to make your home's rooms and closets look spacious and clean. You also want to "depersonalize" your house by removing offbeat furnishings and taking down most family photos. After all, would-be buyers want to imagine what your home will look like with their stuff in it -- not yours.
Source: “8 Tips for Selling a Home in Summer,” The Street