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Sales in the summertimeSelling your Silicon Valley home this summer? Don’t make the two most common mistakes which cost sellers money when marketing their home in the hottest months of the year!

#1 Common Home Selling Mistake in Summer: a “closed up” house

So many sellers try to beat the heat by closing up the house, turning off all lights and shutting all blinds during the hottest part of the day.  I see this all the time in summer, particularly if the San Jose area is enduring a horrendous heat wave.  But walking into a darkened house, condo or townhouse is a huge turn-off for home buyers.   It’s depressing.  Yes, we can turn on lights and open blinds, but the initial impression is terrible.

If you have air conditioning, turn it on and expect that the costs of keeping your home cool are a marketing item.  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.

#2 Common Home Selling Mistake in Summer: allowing the flowers, plants and lawn to wither and wilt

When the heat approaches triple digits, it can be hard to keep plant life, bushes, lawns and flowers in good shape.  Dead flowers in the house, or annuals that have lost their zip are not welcoming.    It’s important to water them (best time is early morning), and if necessary, replace annuals.

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”.  But if the Santa Clara Valley gets a terrible week of high temps, the fruit can fall from the trees (and rot), the annuals can die and the lawn can dry out.  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!