How to Sell a Home in the Summer

10 Sizzling Summer Home Selling Tips

Curb appeal
Dennis Hallinan/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Spring is the most popular time of the year to put a home on the market. Fall is the second most popular time of the year to sell a home. It astounds most people that summer is not usually a popular time to sell a home. For that reason, selling a home in the summer can be a bit tricky.

Why Summer Selling Isn't Ideal

Summer is a good time for a lot of things, but home selling is not necessarily one of them.

In fact, if you don't have to sell in the summer, you might get more for your home if you wait until school starts. Why? Because in the summer:

  • People go on vacation.
  • Kids get out of school and require attention.
  • Summer activities distract homeowners.

Basically, there's just too much going on during the summer to pay close attention to selling a home. Most sellers would rather wait until everything calms down in the fall. Further, most buyers are looking the spring or fall, so there are fewer buyers to compete for your home in the summer.

If You Must Sell Your Home During the Summer

Not everybody can wait until fall to sell and relocate. Some people might be transferred to a new job in another state or be experiencing other pressing "life" issues that could necessitate an immediate sale. Here are a few things you can do to attract a summertime buyer.

  • Mow the lawn twice a week

    Grass grows faster in the summer so mow your lawn regularly. Every other lawn cutting, try mowing on the diagonal to add dimension and curb appeal.

  • Create summer curb appeal

    Curb appeal attracts people in the market to buy homes. Trim the bushes. Plant flowers. Scatter mulch. Paint your house number on the curb. Sweep the walk. Make your entrance welcoming and warm.

  • Decorate with summer accents

    Look around your home for color inspiration. Add vivid blue decor items for a calming effect. Replace dark-colored accent pillows and throw rugs with brighter, summer hues.

  • Bring the light inside

    If you have heavy drapes, remove them. They make rooms look smaller. Pull window blinds to the top and tape the strings underneath. Consider using tie-backs to hold open lighter-weight curtains. The only time you would leave blinds closed is if there was an undesirable element on the other side of the window, i.e. a neighbor's trash can, and even then, open them slightly.

  • Have flexible showing hours

    Some people like to skip out of work early due to daylight savings in many states. You might find buyers are more interested in touring your home during twilight hours, just after the dinner hour.

  • Move furniture outside

    Where I live, in Sacramento, it doesn't rain in the summer. We can move perfectly good living room furniture to the back yard. Not only does moving out furniture free up more room inside the home, but it creates an outdoor living space with items you already own. It's an illusion created for a buyer that says yes, you too can own this lifestyle.

  • Deliver sparkle

    Gold or silver or brass or pewter? Doesn't matter. Mix them, if you like. Old rules don't apply. Metals are summery. Vases, picture frames, mirrors, utensils, goblets, hanging planters and garden gnomes all work.

  • Offer summer beverages and snacks

    For me, in California, summer means red-and-white checkered tablecloths, potato salad, hot dogs and mustard and roasted corn-on-the-cob. Every part of the country has its own summer food traditions. Fill the sink with ice cubes and chill bottled beverages for visitors and offer a few light snacks.

  • Use natural air freshener

    Fill the air in your home with natural fragrances such as those from fresh cut roses, grown in your own garden as commercial has no scent.

  • Control air temperature

    There's nothing worse than a stuffy room on a hot day. Circulate the air in your home. Even if you have to place floor fans about the home, keep the air moving. Turn down the air conditioning to a level just below your comfort zone on extra hot days. A cool indoors will keep visitors indoors viewing your home for longer.

    At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, CalBRE #00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.