Lakefront sellers have the market in summer time home sales. This is the prime time for buyers to check out the lake activities, beach front, and out door amenities. Country home owners can take a few of these tips and apply them to their own homes. Every buyer wants to feel like they are buying a worry-free ‘vacation’ home.
1. Create Curb Appeal: Most buyers make a decision to look at your home based on the first photo – the front of your home – or when they ‘drive by’. Curb appeal and landscaping of the road side of your home should be priority for any seller. Trim the bushes, plant flowers (and water them through the summer), scatter fresh mulch, power wash your drive-way and keep the grass clippings and leaves off the walk ways. Make sure the kids toys are never left out in the front yard. Paint your house numbers and even your front door. Make me feel welcome and want to come inside! For those lakefront home owners – make the deck and lakeside just as desirable as the inside of your home. Many buyers will walk to the lakeside of your home before going inside. After all – this is why they are looking at your home.
2. Lawn Care: Mow the lawn. Water the lawn – even if you have to mow it more often. Expect to mow at least every 2 weeks. Change the direction your mow to a diagonal every other time. Not only is it good for your lawn it will catch peoples eye when they drive by. During the dry season make sure your grass is not brown. Refer to #1 – curb appeal is the priority to getting someone inside.
3. Use Air Conditioning: Nothing is worse than looking at homes in 90 degree weather, except entering a home that is warmer than it is outside! Keep the air circulating. Turn the temperature down to a bit cooler than you would traditionally like it. This will help keep the buyers inside your home longer. Make it comfortable.
4. Neutralize Odors: Summer is the perfect time to pick fresh flowers or fragrant vines, or prop a window open to get a good breeze with that fresh cut grass smell. Natural orders are not usually over powering and they don’t make the buyer wonder what smell you are trying to cover up. Go easy on the scented candles, plug-ins, and sprays. This can send buyers running out the front door. Same with kitty litter – make sure this is fresh and clean every day to minimize pet odors.
5. Outdoor Living Spaces: If you have a covered porch or if it’s not expected to rain, make a cozy outdoor living area – even bring your furniture outside. This will free up some space inside your home to give it a little more space. And it gives the buyer the feeling of added living space and a lifestyle of relaxing outside.
6. Lighting: Even in the summer, it is important to brighten the inside of the home. Turn on all the lights throughout the home before a showing. Even in the unfinished basement or the wine cellar. A prospective buyer is more likely to look if the lights are already on. If you have a fair amount of evening drive-bys, turn on all the outdoor lighting, make sure the glass is clean and sparkles. A fair amount of buyers will drive by after the dinner hour.
7. Decorating: I am no stager so I look to the experts for this – they say to accent with sparkle – gold, silver, brass, pewter and even mix them. Some ideas are mirrors, hanging planters, vases and picture frames. Use metals and bright colors such as a vivid blue pillows or throw rugs. Take down the heavy curtains to make the room feel bigger and brighter. Pull up the blinds – even in the bathroom. We want as much natural light to come inside the home.
8. Personal Touch: There are times, not enough, when I take a buyer to a home that has a personal note from the seller. I have never has a buyer say anything negative about these notes and most of the time they are complimented. Write a personal note about what you love about the home, why live here, what you might miss about the home if you were not looking for it, etc. Not too long and not a laundry list of repairs or upgrades you made to the home. A personal note. Maybe you raised your kids here and its time to down size. But that the school is just around the corner or the bus stops for the neighboring kids. Or if you have a historic home – a little story about what you know about the house. There are some things you may not want to advertise – so have your real estate agent read the note before you leave it out.
Finally – have fun. If you are having fun and fall in love with your home, chances are the buyer will too.