How to Make Your Home Stand Out in a Slow Summer Market
While experts agree that the hottest month for in real estate is mid-May to early June, the dog days of summer are another story. Gone are the first tentative warm days of early summer, replaced by the oppressive heat and high humidity that make the idea of driving across the city looking for a home seem like a monumental task.
Besides the weather, there are many reasons that homeowners choose to suspend their home buying journeys in the summer. Vacations must be planned and taken, and most buyers will have missed the window to change their children’s schools during summer break.
In addition to the season’s effect on homebuying demand, some of the country’s hottest real estate markets are heading into a slowdown. Toronto, in particular, is forecasting a sluggish summer for home sales. So if you’re planning to list your home this summer, it’s important that you take the time to put your best foot forward and make your home stand out in a slow summer market.
Here are five ways to make your home more appealing to homebuyers in a summer market.
Mow Often, Mow High
Spring and early summer mark the peak growing months for lawns in Canada, but as temperatures reach their peak in July and August, heat stress can set in. The result is a lawn that looks distinctly lacklustre or even burned and dead.
To ensure your lawn is at fighting strength, make sure to water it at least twice per week, preferably early in the morning before the heat of the day. Deep watering will promote root growth and make your grass more drought resistant, as will setting your lawn mower cutting depth as high as possible. Speaking of mowing, make sure to do that frequently, never cutting more than a third of the blade height at a time.
Adapt Your Curb Appeal to Summer Heat
Coaching your plants through the heat of the summer is no easy task, but nothing kills your curb appeal faster than dead begonias. If you choose to purchase annual flowering plants this year, make sure you choose drought-resistant varieties and don’t forget to water them according to their labels.
While summer can seem deathly hot in some cities, this season represents a good opportunity to make your home seem larger by presenting your backyard or patio as an additional living space. Add an outdoor rug, put up some string lights and pressure wash your lawn furniture so your potential buyers can imagine themselves enjoying their hot summer nights in your backyard oasis.
Make Your Home Open and Airy
When showing your home in the winter, conventional wisdom suggests that you make your home cozy and inviting. The opposite advice is true in the summer. Instead of cozy and inviting, take steps to make your home appear more bright, open, and airy. You can achieve this look by decluttering and removing dark curtains completely or trading them for lighter fabrics. Remove your rugs to accentuate your hardwood floors and throw open the windows to let in fresh air.
Showcase Your HVAC System
If your home has an air conditioner, summer is the perfect time to showcase this feature. By turning the temperature down to a cool 68°F (20°C), you will transform your home into a cool haven for would-be homebuyers braving the elements to house hunt.
The only exception to this rule is if your home has a window air conditioner that is very loud. Loud air conditioners shatter the tranquillity of the space. If this is the case, shut the air conditioner off right before the prospective buyers arrive.
Plan Open Houses During Your Vacation
Just because you’re planning to sell your home, doesn’t mean you need to forgo a vacation this summer. In fact, a vacation is a perfect time to host one or several open houses, since you won’t have to worry about cleaning the home between viewings. Just remind your real estate agent to arrive early to turn the air conditioning on and water your flowers.
If you do leave town for a vacation, make sure to be available by phone if an offer comes in. Don’t take this opportunity to go on a multi-day hike with no cell phone reception.
The height of summer may present unique challenges when selling your home, but these challenges aren’t insurmountable. With some careful attention to detail, you’ll have no problem turning your home into the ideal summer retreat for would-be homebuyers.
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