By Martin Williamson, Head of Residential Property at Latimer Hinks Solicitors Estate agents normally experience a dip in the housing market over the long lazy days of summer.
The minds of both homebuyers and sellers turn to their holidays, day trips, enjoying time with the family or just basking in the glorious sunshine.
However, it is also an ideal opportunity to sell your home – literally placing it in the best light. After all, a tidy and well-presented property always looks much more appealing during fine weather.
Prospective buyers also benefit from the longer nights by having an extended opportunity to carry out a more comprehensive viewing.
After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than being greeted by the inky darkness of a cold winter or autumn night and being unable to properly explore the exterior of the home – or spot the chemical works lurking just over the back fence!
The main advice for home sellers in summer is to use the extra light and warmth to create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere whilst connecting the property to any outside space.
Ensure the home is aired and remains cool in hot weather. People may be put off if rooms are hot and stuffy so if you have the benefit of air conditioning, maintain a comfortable rather than ice-cool temperature.
Otherwise, open windows to allow a breeze to enter, use portable fans to ensure air can circulate and rely on natural aromas rather than heavy cloying chemical-based air fresheners.
Buyers appreciate light and airy homes so ensure blinds and curtains are wide open to let in the maximum amount of sunshine. Mirrors and polished metal frames also help reflect light and provide an impression of greater space.
Consider replacing heavy winter throws, covers or rugs with brighter and more colourful summer alternatives more in tune to the spirit of the season. Think about painting your walls in lighter neutral colours which will also freshen up the décor and add to the appeal.
A garden or yard is a major asset in summer months – adding an extra ‘room’ to your property. Blooming flowers and greenery help frame the home so ensure lawns are cut, paths swept and weeded, unruly vegetation trimmed and garden waste removed.
In fact, be prepared to mow lawns twice a week at this time of year as the grass tends to sprout very quickly.
You may wish to ensure you invest in or update any garden furniture, allowing prospective buyers to imagine themselves relaxing in any all-important outdoor space.
Homes without gardens are still able to benefit from a summer lift by the imaginative use of plant pots, window boxes or planters.
Remember, if you put your home on the market over the summer, it’s also the best time for your estate agent to take interior and exterior photographs. With many buyers searching online, stunning images are vital to tempt prospective buyers through the front door.
There is an old, but very true, cliché about creating a welcoming atmosphere with the aroma of fresh coffee, baking bread or flowers.
Summer is the ideal time to bring the outside in – and vice versa – so ensure any patio doors are unlocked to allow easy access into any outdoor space – even if just big enough to accommodate a few pieces of garden furniture.
Maximising kerb appeal is essential at any time of the year so ensure windows are clean, tired paintwork is updated and remember to pop the wheelie bin out of sight.
It’s also important to cast a critical eye and declutter. Remove excess furniture, decorations and any items likely to over-personalise a home. Your main aim is to provide people with an opportunity to imagine how they can live in your home, so keep things simple.
Sellers should also be prepared to be more flexible. Summer is a time when people are busy so be prepared to fit in with them when it comes to viewings.
Summer always raises the spirits. The lighter nights and warm temperatures generally put people in a much more agreeable mood so it could just be the perfect time – with a little work and preparation – to sell them your home.
Please note: This article is intended as guidance only. No responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by Latimer Hinks. In addition, no responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by the firm.