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Preparing Your Home to Sell This Summer

Summery home

Summer is peak season for the housing market, which means competition will be sizzling. If you’re selling this season, strike while the iron (like the weather) is hot by getting your home into tip-top shape before you even list it. How? Follow these tips and make your house the stand-out property of the season.


1. Go Clutter Busting.

No one wants to imagine living with all your clutter. And if you’re honest with yourself, you’re probably not enjoying living with all your clutter. Purge closets, cupboards, garages, attics, and basements of everything that you don’t need or use, and if you’re still tight on space, rent a storage unit for any overflow. Depersonalize your space by removing family photos, knick-knacks, and sentimental pieces that don’t add to the look of the house. By the time you’re done, you’ll have a huge head start on packing as well as a clear and open living space.


2. Get Handy.

A small end table with a vase on it sits beside a chair in a neutral-colored room

Paint walls neutral colors and make minor repairs before listing your house. Your home will show better, and you can both boost your asking price and avoid buyer-requested repairs that can slow down the process. Don’t forget to repair decks and concrete cracks, pressure wash the driveway and siding, tighten (or replace) doorknobs and cabinet pulls, scrub cabinets to remove fingerprints, and clean up caulked and grouted surfaces.


3. Set the Stage.

Consider hiring a professional stager to create the ideal aesthetic for your home’s interior. Stagers know how to highlight your home’s best features while minimizing flaws, which makes it easy for buyers to envision living there.


4. Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Purple roses in front of a yellow home

Or rather, make buyers’ enthusiasm start at the curb. Summer showcases your yard and trees at their best, so enhance your landscaping by adding plants and flowers that thrive during this season. Wondering if it’s really worth the time and expense to do some gardening? One study showed good curb appeal can add between 7% and 14% to the value of your house.* On a $250,000 home, that may net an additional $17,500 to $35,000 … well worth a trip to the home and garden store.


5. Showcase Outdoor Living.

Look for any opportunity to help buyers imagine themselves enjoying the season in your outdoor spaces. Think deck chairs and tables on the patio, a rocking chair on the porch, a firepit that conjures images of marshmallow roasts, and outdoor lighting to keep the fun flowing after the sun goes down.

6. Tap Your Inner Martha Stewart.

Anyone can throw cookies on a plate for an open house. Why not kick things up a notch by adding a theme? Give your backyard a garden party feel with a croquet set and trays of sparkling iced tea. Set out a festive cake and small treat bags to help visitors imagine all the birthdays and special events they could enjoy in this house.

7. Lean Into the Season.

A vase filled with bright flowers

Open curtains and keep windows sparkling clean to take advantage of all the sunshine. You’ll need your air conditioner running in tip top condition, so have it serviced and change all air filters. Bring the outdoors in with fresh flowers and brightly colored accents, like throw pillows, bedding, and towels. Summer has its own special vibe, so make sure buyers feel it.


Are you planning to buy a new home after your summer sale? Talk to your mortgage lender now to get prepared.


*The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, “Valuing Curb Appeal,” September 6, 2019.


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