Challenges of selling a home during the summer

by Dan Krell © 2013
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summer home saleIf you were selling your home several years ago, you might have been thinking of ideas how to attract home buyers to your home. Even though the feeling today is such that you don’t have to do much to sell your home, some home sellers are shocked to find out that there is more to selling today than just putting a sign up in the yard – and summertime selling poses additional challenges.

First, get the price right. As I wrote earlier this year, pricing a home is extremely important even when there appears to be a positive selling cycle. Even though you decide on the list price, you have to be realistic about your home’s value; your real estate agent can assist you in deciding on a list price by preparing a market analysis with recent (within the last six months) neighborhood homes that are comparable to yours.

Next, remember that de-cluttering is the foundation to your home’s presentation. Whether you are a pack rat or a neat freak, chances are that your home could use some de-cluttering. De-cluttering shouldn’t be thought of as getting rid of everything you don’t need in the home, but instead could be thought of as a way to neutralize and free up space to allow home buyers to imagine how they could live in the home.

Another factor to consider during a summer home sale is your home’s curb appeal. The basics of curb appeal include attending to the home’s landscaping and grading, siding, deck, driveway and sidewalks.

We tend to get lazy about tending to the yard during the hot and humid summer months; however, if you’re planning a summer sale, it is not the time to let the lawn and weeds overgrow. Simple landscaping can make your lawn appear manicured. Trees properly trimmed away from the home will allow your home to be seen from the street as well as not be “crowded” by overhanging limbs. Neatly trimmed and properly placed shrubs and flower beds will not only look beautiful, it will enhance your home’s façade. Also, check that the grading around your home diverts storm water away from the foundation. Hiring a professional landscaping company to tend to your yard is the way to go if the heat and/or activity pose a health hazard.

Take a close look at the exterior of the home. If the exterior does not need painting, look for areas that may be peeling or bare. Decks, fascia boards and window trim are often made of wood and typically need more attention (even if your siding is made of brick or artificial materials). Consider having the deck and siding power washed to remove dirt, algae or mold. Additionally, resealing the deck and other exterior wood trim enhances the home’s curb appeal.

Sidewalks and driveways are often given the short shrift. Cracked sidewalks and driveway are not only unsightly, they can also be a trip hazard. Repairing and/or sealing the walkways and driveway can not only increase safety – it can improve the appearance of your home.

Finally, how cool is your home? An air conditioning system that does not keep your home cool is a buyer deterrent – especially in the hot summer months. If you don’t have the air conditioning system serviced on a regular basis, you should consider doing so before listing your home this summer.

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This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. This article was originally published the week of August 12, 2013 (Montgomery County Sentinel). Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws. Copyright © 2013 Dan Krell.

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