As the dog days of August heat up, there are 1412 single family homes on the market in the communities in this Lakes Region real estate report. That’s up from 1344 on the market last August 1. The average asking price is down from $539,186 last August 1 to $517,674. The median is also down from $279,950 to $269,000. The homes on the market represent a 22.8 month supply at the current sales pace. That, as you might guess, is also up from last August. Let’s hope that this great weather brings lots of tourist and potential home buyers to the area…we need them badly.
This steamy summer weather can create some real turnoffs for buyers that seem more pronounced when it is hot. There are also some simple steps you can take that would make your home more appealing if you are trying to find that all elusive buyer.
Probably the biggest turn off to a buyer is odor. You might have noticed odors only get worse in the hot weather. While the dog days of summer are not referring to dog (or cat) odors, it might as well be as far as real estate is concerned. Nothing will kill a showing quicker than pet odors on a ninety five degree day. Unless, that is, the homeowner is a smoker and likes to keep their home shut up tight for that enhanced second hand nicotine effect. Anyway, if you own pets, have your carpets shampooed, make sure the litter box and especially the back yard is kept clean (you really don’t want the buyers tracking stuff inside, do you?), and that you take the four legged children with you while the home is being shown. Some buyers, believe it or not, are afraid of dogs. A barking fido can also be a bit distracting when you are trying to show a home. Put some fresh flowers out or bake some brownies to create a pleasing aroma.
If you have air conditioning turn it on! Let’s show the potential new owner how comfortable your home is. He’ll not only know that you have air conditioning the minute he walks in but that it actually works. If you have a basement, you probably have high humidity down there creating sweating water pipes and increasing the possibility of mold growth. Basements can smell musty and moldy so why take that risk. A dehumidifier is a must in most basements in hot weather so if you have one turn it on. Creating a comfortable experience during a showing might just help you sell your place.
Let the sunshine in! Nobody likes to view a home in the dark with the shades all drawn. Open the curtains and blinds. Most buyers today are looking for bright spaces, not dark closets. Obviously, if you are going to shine some light on your home, make sure it is spotless.
Make sure your lawn is mowed. Having grass two feet tall is a sign that the home owner doesn’t take care of the property, not to mention it ruins the home’s curb appeal. Also keep the lawn watered to keep the grass green throughout the summer showing season. A brown, dead lawn is not going to help your curb appeal either. Make sure your plants and flowers look great and set them off with some fresh bark mulch in the beds. One highly experienced agent informed me that to make a home sell quickly have the owner plant lots of red geraniums. He said it is guaranteed to work. He just got a new listing and his sellers have planted them everywhere. The place looks fantastic! I am anxious to see if this works. It sounds better than burying a St. Joseph statue in the yard because you can at least see the geraniums. I’ll report back on the progress. If it works I’m going to start buying them for my clients…