Trying to sell your house by the end of summer? You’re not wrong.
Every year, the end of summer typically shows signs of an annual slowdown in house sales. Peak selling season occurs in mid or late May of every year, picking up momentum at the beginning of spring and lasting until late July or early August. In fact, since 1999, home sales have been shown to increase by an average of 33% between February and March and the four summer months — May, June, July, and August — all account for a staggering 40% of the average annual home-selling volume.
So, you have every reason to feel rushed to sell your house before the end of summer.
According to Jody Parrish, a real estate in St. Louis, MO, who ranks in the top 2% of sellers’ agents in her area, you might be surprised how much a few small tricks can do while showing your home. If “selling my house fast!” is what you’re hoping for these days, check out these 3 quick and easy hacks you can do the next time you show your house. They might just speed up your sale and get your home sold fast.
1. Leave All the Lights On
When showing your home, it can feel a bit unnatural to turn on the lights while the sun is still out, bright, and shining strong at mid-day. What many sellers forget, however, is that the home isn’t meant to appear lived-in during a house showing.
Rather, it should appear as empty and pristine as possible so that potential buyers can imagine themselves living in or using the space during a quick walk-through — something difficult to do when the seller leaves their personal touch on the house and its furnishings.
“[Sellers should] make the house look like a display home when they leave for showings,” Parrish explained. “One thing they can do to help us out a lot is turn all the lights on.”
De-personalizing the home with unnatural lighting allows the house to transform into a model — a property that buyers will explore with the intention of imagining their own lives in the space, a crucial element for success in the selling process. In addition, turning on all the lights enhances the space, especially if your lamps are well-placed.
Place your lamps by charming, unique facets of the house. Interested buyers will be drawn to the property’s most positive qualities, quite literally leaving the more negative ones in the dark.
2. Write a Letter to Explain Your Property
Maybe your house faces a busy street, where you’re occasionally bothered by the sound of cars, or a new set of rowdy neighbors just moved in next door right in the middle of your selling process. Regardless of what challenge you may have with the property, it’s important for the seller to address it, package it in a positive light for the buyer, and convince them that it’s something that ultimately adds to the experience of living in that property.
How do you best go about doing that?
“Write a letter,” Parrish suggested.
Even though it may seem strange to express positivity or gratitude for something that you don’t appreciate about your property, a seller’s letter can explain the challenge from a different perspective. It may be all a buyer needs to overlook the negative attribute. Parrish recounted one specific instance where this was the case.
“There was a house that’s right next door to a high school; the high school parking lot touched the seller’s driveway, basically. So, we asked the seller to write a letter about how much they love the high school being there and why. These are all the great things about being next to the high school — that’s one of our strategies,” she said. “With any sort of challenge, we typically ask the seller to write a letter — and we don’t give them any direction on it — just to tell [buyers] why [the challenge] is not a problem.”
If your house comes with an obstacle to closing a successful sale, it may be worth investing the time in writing an authentic, helpful letter for your next showing. Tell people why you personally love the facet of your house considered to be a negative quality. A letter helps concretely illustrate to buyers why living in a busy area can be lively, or why being near a school can help your family.
Who knows, you might even discover aspects of your property you didn’t know you liked in the process.
3. Keep an Empty Container to Store Goods
Although certain showings are planned relatively far in advance, like Open Houses or a buyer that gives a good deal of notice, sometimes house showings come up on short notice due to lack of availability on the buyer’s end.
In the chance of cases like these, don’t panic. Make it as easy as possible for your family to abandon their belongings and put away all traces of day-to-day life before showing the house.
For these situations, Parrish recommends a large chest — or even a clear plastic container — in order to most easily toss one’s belongings in. She emphasized that it’s especially important that sellers leave the property for showings, and that they take children and animals with them to minimize the seller’s presence in the space while the buyer walks through.
“Keep an empty chest and, you know, if you have a showing, throw everything in the tub and stick it in the basement,” Parrish said.
If you have a space to tuck the container into — such as under the bed or in the closet for instance — you don’t even need to get one that looks so nice on the outside. Something as simple as a larger clear, clasp-tight container would be enough to get you through the quick showing before you’re able to resume everyday life again in your home.
Act Fast and Sell Your House This Summer
The best time to sell is now, and the summer window is rapidly closing.
If you’re in the middle of an ongoing home sale, try: leaving your lights on for future home showings in order to make your house look more like a display home, writing a letter to turn a negative aspect of the property into a positive one, and getting a large storage bin to hold your family’s goods whenever needed. These three hacks will make your house sell faster, so give them a shot right now.
And, if the lack of movement begins to worry you, talk to your agent. If your agent is unable to give you a detailed plan of attack personal to your house — like these three hacks here — it could be time to consider finding a better one with top-of-the-line resources available today.