Common Home Selling Mistakes in Summer
The “Closed Up” House
Many people try to beat the heat by closing up the house, turning off all the lights, and shutting blinds and curtains. I see this all the time in summer, particularly if the San Jose area is enduring a horrendous heat wave. While it’s good practice for homeowners, it can cost home sellers!
Walking into a darkened house, condo or townhouse is a huge turn-off for home buyers. It’s depressing, unflattering, can make a space feel smaller and less inviting. Yes, we can turn on lights and open blinds, but the initial impression is terrible, and that feeling is often the one that sticks with buyers!
If you have air conditioning, turn it on – make the house comfortable! The costs of keeping your home cool is a marketing expense, and will likely be much less than painting or staging. A hot, dark house (or even a cool, dark one) is not inviting.
What if you do not have air conditioning? If I had to pick between cooler and dark vs hotter and bright, I’d go with hotter and bright.
Dead or Stressed Yard
Allowing the flowers, plants, and lawn to wither and wilt can be equally damaging to a buyer’s first impression.
When the heat approaches triple digits, it can be hard to keep plant life, bushes, lawns and flowers in good shape. Especially in a drought! But you wouldn’t keep dead flowers on display in the kitchen, so don’t display them in your yard.
It’s important to maintain your yard throughout the marketing and sale of your home. Make sure the lawn is mown, shrubs are trimmed, and don’t allow weeds to spread. That also means you must water plants! It’s best to do this in the dark, either early morning or overnight when the soil and roots will have time to absorb it.
Fruit trees abound in the neighborhoods and back yards of Santa Clara County! But if the Santa Clara Valley gets a terrible week of high temps, the fruit can fall from the trees in droves and quickly rot, attracting flies and other pests. If you have a fruiting tree (or two or three) the yard may need to be cleared of fallen fruit multiple times a week to keep it tidy and inviting.
Sometimes maintenance alone isn’t enough. Annuals that have lost their zip are not welcoming and should be removed or replaced. Brown lawns can be spruced up with a temporary green paint, replaced with sod, or artificial turf, depending on your budget and needs.
Summer Home Selling: Make the Best Impression!
Most home sellers in Santa Clara County make a big initial “push” to get their property ready for the real estate market, and after it’s on the MLS, they want to coast and just “keep it clean”. It takes more effort to keep everything model perfect, but the good news is this: any home buyer who’s looking in 100 degree temps is serious! (Same is true of buyers looking in the wet months of December and January.)
Remember, you only get one chance to make a great first impression!
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