The dog summer days are upon us, and if you are like most sellers, you are wondering what’s the best way to sell your house in the summer heat? Actually, the summer heat may just be one factor, so I want to share what I know and impart some of the tips to sell in this hot season. In this latest post, I’ll talk about the things that stop houses from selling, offer a few suggestions and finally give you 7 hot summer home selling tips in Sacramento.
7 Hot Summer Home Selling Tips In Sacramento
If you want to “get your house on the market” and sell your house fast, all you have to do is create a plan that makes selling your priority. I have been around long enough to know that does not necessarily mean to go out and hire the first real estate agent you can find and adopt their plan. When you read on you’ll know why. What it does mean is that you need to explore all of your options in advance and understand which one suits your family, your house, your budget and your local market.
Remember that your house, its age, its condition and it’s location are going to determine the kind of plan that you really need for your situation. There are just so many scenarios to consider. But, if you want to pocket the most amount of money (your equity) and spend the least amount on repairs and upgrades in the process, then it is important that you know the market, because every neighborhood has an investment threshold that once you cross, will never be recouped in a sale.
The Market and Real Estate Agents
I am not sure that the heat of summer is going to curtail that plan in this market but you need to be prepared to know what to do. First, forget the conventional wisdom that selling a house in Sacramento in the middle of August and September is a mistake. With the heat, it may not be ideal, but, what do the naysayers know? As far as I am concerned, any month not during the holidays and not in winter are really irrelevant for the sale of a house. The real question is what is your plan and how does your product (your house) stack up to compete and fit into that plan to accomplish what you want.
Signing a listing agreement Planting a for sale sign in the front yard is not a plan. It is an approach and coupled with the right team can begin to look like a good plan. Your product… your house is going to be the determining factor that you hang that sign on and will become central to that plan. Its is pretty simple formula.
- Great Condition = Highest Possible Price.
- Average Condition = Mid level Price
- Poor Condition = Lowest Price
I see it all of the time. The homeowner has high expectations for a house that is just limping along. Deferred maintenance. No repairs or upgrades and the seller thinking that their house will get the same price advantage as the nicest house in the neighborhood. It doesn’t work that way. I know that I shouldn’t have to say it but even the bad real estate agents know better. Sometimes I think that they are operating on a hope and a prayer as well. Don’t get me wrong , I have been surprised before, but generally speaking, it is the homeowners expectations regarding their houses, age location and condition that have kept the house from selling. There is a little more to selling a house than planting a sign in the front yard and signing a listing agreement.
Tip # 1. Know your House, Your Market and What You Want
There is actually the staging of a house that will pass the inspections and appraisal process so that it can go onto closing. What good is an offer that can’t close? As the seller, you have holding cost and it always amazes me how the sellers confuse their listing agreement with a sales agreement. The sale agreement is with the buyer. Your listing agreement is to guarantee that your real estate agent will get a commission once it sells. Unfortunately, selling is a lost art form and real estate agents (for the most part) are not as prepared today and are content letting the numbers dictate the results.
What I just said is a big deal and all sellers need to be aware of what that means. Let’s look at the numbers. As sellers you pay upwards of a 6% commission for representation on a listing. You pay both sides of that commission. But, did you know that nearly 40% of all houses that get listed with a real estate agent dont get sold within the initial listing period. Did you know that the average listing period is 6 months and that of those houses, that fall by the wayside, the homeowners paid all of the expenses every month.
So let me ask again. How does your house fit into that plan to accomplish what you want? Do you still think that the average real estate agent can sell your house?
I know the honest answer and for a lot of homeowners is painful. Your house has got some great attributes but there are just so many little things that need to be done and that is what you already know. The cost of the unknown is frightening. As it stands, maybe your house can’t compete with the top 60% of the market. Especially if the houses age, location and condition are in the bottom 20% of the market. If you need to sell your house fast and get the most amount of money, (regardless of the heat or the month), then you need to do one of two things;
- Fix Everything and go for the top of market as fast as possible or
- Do nothing and Sell your House As-Is for Cash to a Cash Home Buyer in Sacramento
I am not sure that in today’s market there is room for the middle ground between the two options and still walk out with a lot of equity. I am not sure that between the inspections and the appraisals you can just half ass the repairs and create the kind of value that does not come with liability. With all of the required disclosures, you may be creating a liability for your self if you just try to cover up the problems. It may be easier and less costly to accept a Fair Market Value from an all cash buyer minus the cost of repairs and some holding cost. For those of you that want to sell and get the most out of your house please read on.
Tip #2. Run The Air Conditioner And the Fans
If you are you serious about selling your house in summer and getting the most amount of money, then you need to mirror that sentiment with a serious plan. Part of that plan must be to do some very basic things to cool the house. Buyers want a cool house. No ceiling fans installed in the family rooms and bedrooms… Fix that now. How is the air conditioner? Is that limping along? Get that fixed too. The more that you do now… the less that you’ll have to repair or replace later.
People buy houses that they feel comfortable in because they picture themselves owning and relaxing in that house. And during a hot summer day, there’s nothing that says “comfort” like a cool home.
Run the air conditioner and some fans. The air conditioner cools off the house and the fans help to circulate the cool air and avoid any warm spots or stale air from building up. If you are serious about selling, then you need to step up the game. Seperating yourself from your competition is the best way to sell any house fast.
Tip # 3. Fix Everything Inside and Out
If you are all in then go all in. Scrape and paint the exterior. Prep and paint the interior and use warm welcoming colors so that buyers feel at home. Off white for ceilings doors and trim. Earthtones for the walls. Go through the house room by room with your punch list and repair it and in the process upgrade everything so that buyers see new.
Simple things like replacing all of the electrical outlets, switches and faceplates is relatively inexpensive, but impactful. Replace all Light fixtures and add or replace all ceiling fans. They are inexpensive and they will add value. Replace all windows, doors and baseboards.
Update the Kitchen and baths and understand that every dollar spent there will come back in the sale. Don’t make the mistake of just fixing the Kitchen and Baths at the expense of everything else. That will have a tremendous negative effect.
Tip #4. Clean Everything Inside and Outside including the Walls
During the winter and spring, the exterior walls of your home can attract a lot of grime and dust, which dulls your home. Spend a bit of money and an afternoon power washing the outside walls of your home to really help make your home look clean and fresh – it will surely stand out from all the other houses on the street!
Tip #5. Fix the Landscape and Plant Flowers
Flowers are an inexpensive way to add a pop of color to your home. Buy flowers to plant around the outside of your home, and bring a beautiful bouquet of flowers into your home as well for a splash of color and interest.
Don’t be afraid to add lots of flowers to the garden bed and pathway!
As soon as possible, start seeding, fertilizing, and watering your lawn. Don’t be afraid to over-seed it in order to get even more grass growing as thick as possible!
A beautiful, vibrant lawn can really stand out when it’s cared for, and that will help to add to the perceived value of the home.
Tip #6. Invest In New Concrete
Driveways, sidewalks and patios make great impressions. They are costly but they also pay off. Remember that some home improvements are necessary just to generate continued interest. It is a simple formula. If the concrete in your driveway has large cracks and is shifting you need to replace it. Sidewalks that wrap around the entire house are desirable and make cleaning easy. Patios are like bathrooms and kitchens, they sell houses.
Tip #7. Set The Stage
People buy houses because they see themselves in the home. That means helping people see themselves in the home! For that reason, consider setting the stage so they can feel like they are already there enjoying it.
Bring the barbecue and patio furniture close together. Set the table. Have some fresh lemonade and glasses on the counter. Create a friendly, livable atmosphere!
If you want to sell your home this summer, use these 7 hot summer home selling tips in Sacramento to help you make your home even more attractive to buyers.