Summer is a great time to sell your home.  As a matter of fact, 60% of homes are purchased during the summer season.  But you only have 4-6 weeks to get ready if you want to get the job done before school starts and the snow flies, so follow these tips and get ready to move.

1.  JUNK AND CLUTTER?  Too many “collections”?  Get rid of it all now.  Buyers can’t see past your “stuff” and picture their own things in the house, so rent a storage unit if you have to or have a giant yard sale before you put your house on the market.  Spacious and uncluttered is the look you are going for.  Remember, you are going to sell your home if you follow these tips, so you are just packing early, right?

2.  NO FIXER-UPPERS PLEASE.  This means that you will need to take care of the obvious repairs and maintenance issues your home has.  Leaky faucets?  Missing shingles?  Peeling paint?  Things that need attention scream “not very well taken care of” to buyers, not the message you want to send.

3.  UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL?  Pack up or put away family photos and personal items like awards and your bowling league trophies.  You want potential buyers to be looking at the house, NOT at your photos or awards to see if they know anyone.  Those are certainly the things that make it YOUR home, but buyers won’t buy unless they can visualize it as THEIR home.  So you’re just packing it up early, remember?

5.  NEUTRAL WINS THE RACE.  This is a great time to make sure that your décor is as neutral as possible.  That might mean a fresh new coat of white or pale gray or beige paint throughout, and getting rid of the cute wallpaper border.  Your favorite lime green wall in the dining room or the Star Trek mural in Johnny’s bedroom is best removed.  For buyers to see themselves living in your home, they need to be able to imagine their furniture and décor items there, and it’s hard to do if things aren’t neutral.  That’s why builders use neutral colors when they build a home for the general market – they want to appeal to as many buyers as possible.

5.  RIGHT OR LEFT?  The same thing goes with anything religious or political – you don’t want to take the chance of offending a buyer with something they might view as controversial, so pack it up and keep things “in the middle”, if you want the best chance to sell your home for top dollar. 

6.  MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION.  Most buyers want to drive by a home and scope it out before they set up an appointment to see inside, so this is the time to make the front of your home look wonderful.  Keep the kids toys off the sidewalk and lawn, make sure the lawn is mowed (and green) and the flower beds are weeded.  This would be a great time to give your front door a fresh cheery coat of paint, and place a few pots of colorful annuals on the porch.  You want your home to look well-care-for and special, so give it a look with a critical eye and spend the time to give it the curb appeal buyers are looking for.

7.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.  It’s really hard to be objective when you set the price on your home – to you and your family, it is priceless, but the buyer will take a much more objective view and compare it to others out there.  A mistake here can cost you a sale – it’s easy to say “You can always go down but you can’t go up” when setting your price, but if you price it too high, some buyers will never even look at it, much less make a lower offer and negotiate.  So do your research and compare your house to the homes it will be competing with, because you can bet they will be looking at those in addition to yours and doing their own comparison.

So there you have it.  These tips work and can help you successfully get your place sold before Labor Day.  And, if you decide you need the voice of experience to help you navigate through the pitfalls of selling your home, contact me and I’ll go to work for you.