Published DateI'll admit it. I'm an air conditioner junkie. I would rather reach down for a second blanket in the middle of July, than lie awake with the sheets stuck to my face. Air conditioning is likely not good for us and, I'm told, can make allergies even worse. But for my bedroom and my office, there is simply no substitute.
We tend to joke that in Northern New Hampshire we enjoy two weeks of summer and 50 weeks of the other seasons. This year has been quite a bit different though. I can't recall a summer that had so many picture-perfect days with high temps and bright blue skies. As you're reading this, it is likely pouring down rain outside. What can I say — the weatherman didn't consult me before this article was published.
When it comes to showing real estate, summertime can be ideal to highlight the property and all the features of the home. The flowers and shrubs are at their peak, you can showcase your manicured lawn and chances are your neighborhood will be looking its best as well. There are also some challenges to showings in the warmer months. Besides having to draw the family away from the lake or pool, it is simply challenging to entice buyers to don their buying shoes and come look at property. Here are a couple tips for showing your home in the dog-days of summer which should help draw the buyers out and maybe even entice an offer.
First and foremost, especially while in the throes of a heat wave, keep the home cool. It may not be the most energy-efficient thing to do, especially if you don't live in the home, but that first impression of a stuffy, hot home will certainly not be a positive one. Some brokers have gone so far as to encourage sellers to keep their properties (that don't have A/C) off the market until the cooler months return. Luckily for us, those cooler months are not far away.
Take care of those unpleasant odors. We all know the "secret" of baking fresh cookies or lighting scented candles for a showing, but taking care of things on the other side of that spectrum is critical too. Warmer months tend to exacerbate musty and damp based odors. Dehumidifiers are key to a dry basement and can even help keep those musty smells at bay. Even going to far as to clean the basement with a healthy dose of bleach (is that an oxy-moron?) is a good idea. Bleach (used safely) can kill bacteria and leave that area of the house smelling crisp and clean. Removing cat boxes and other pet-originated smells can keep the house smelling fresh even on the hottest days.
Even though the kids are home from school and maybe you're even on a vacation of your own, get out of the house during the showing. Buyers never feel as comfortable in a house when the current owners are watching their every move. Take yourself out for an ice cream or head out for a dip in the river. Let the agent do their job and let the potential buyers truly get a sense for making your house their home.
Outside the home it is important to keep the landscaping in top order. While your grass may be in the most feverish growing season of the year, make sure it is freshly cut and don't be afraid to water it. Some towns have watering bans and even limit the time of day when you can irrigate your property. Make the most of the time and water you have so that (at the very least) your front lawn is plush and green. A spotty backyard is tolerable in mid-summer especially if it is your family's playground.
You've heard it before, but it is equally true in the warmer summer months, keep your home clean and clutter free. Pollen can wreak havoc on clean windows and doors so make the extra effort to tidy up these "first-impression" areas. Thankfully this season of pollen does not last all summer so weekly cleanings are only necessary for the first month or so.
Even though the kids are home and the dog finally has a playmate during the day, get rid of the toys in the yard and the clutter in the home. As I write this I can see some folks rolling their eyes because they have heard me say this over and over again, but we still see homes that could make the front cover of "Hoarding Weekly" magazine! Removing personalized items such as pictures, paintings (by the kids), schedules and shopping lists simply helps the buyers visualize the house as their own. Taking the time to store all the toys and games in the garage or even just in storage bins outside keeps the lawn and yard looking tidy and makes the home more attractive overall.
Summertime in New Hampshire is traditionally our busiest time of the year, not just for tourism but for real estate as well. Although the inclination might be to spend the day at the beach, there are still plenty of folks looking to make this area their new home. Keep your property in tip-top shape so you are not taken by surprise by a call from your agent or even an unscheduled drive-by.