Five Prep Tips to Make the Most of your Summer
Ah, summer. It's the season when your office-dwelling friends start scheduling vacations and you start kicking it into gear (though we highly encourage some R&R if you can make time for it). No matter where you live in the U.S., summer is the selling season, with many folks in a rush to get into a new place before school starts in August.
But that doesn't mean homes just sell themselves. Some thoughtful summer preparation - particularly after the pollen and rain festival known as "spring" - can go a long way toward helping your busy summer season make your entire year. Here are a few places to start:
Plug the Leaks
Weather exposes a home's weak links. If winter ice and snow don't do it, then the spring rains will. If a roof or basement is leaky, early summer is the time to fix it. At the very least, a pre-inspection on the roof and foundation are warranted on any property you want to sell. It will provide peace of mind not only for prospective buyers, but you and your clients as well. Gutters and downspouts should also be repaired while they're dry.
Enhance Curb Appeal
Some homeowners are naturally inclined to keep their yard and home looking sharp. Others, not so much. Before you list the home with such, um, upkeep-averse clients, have a sit down talk about what is needed to make their home stand out in photos and from the street. Flowers, a new coat of paint and a professional lawn-care service are all reasonable requests while the home is on the market. A house may have the nicest bathroom imaginable, but if no one clicks on the first photo or bothers to stop as they cruise the neighborhood, it's never going to get seen.
Play up the Outdoor Spaces
Whether it's a small sitting area in the backyard or a full-on outdoor kitchen/pool/solarium situation, this is the time to play up these selling points. While it's well established that pools don't necessarily sell houses, other outdoor amenities do. Repair pavers or add screens to an outdoor patio. For more sophisticated entertaining areas, add small amenities like built-in coolers or refrigerators, and - as the yard - make sure any pools or spas are maintained by a professional, unless your clients are already very good about it. A little extra expense in June and July can pay off big in August.
Fight the Heat
Obviously summer has its own weather challenges - typically stifling heat and humidity in many parts of the country. Job One should be making sure the HVAC system is in full repair and cleaned; change filters and get a tune-up before you start walking prospective buyers through the home. Install a ceiling fan or two where appropriate. No one wants to sweat (any more than usual) when it comes time to make a home-buying decision.
With any luck, you're going to have a lot of listings to juggle. Now is the time to talk with your clients and figure out their schedules; when they're on vacation and when they would be amenable to open houses and showings. Having a week or two of open access to a clean house can do wonders for your productivity when managing a listing. And, when it comes down to it, little proper planning might also allow YOU to take a well-earned trip with the family... and help pay for it to boot