1. People take longer to drink in that critical first impression.
At least when it comes to selling homes, what they have always said about the importance of first impressions continues to remain well in place.
I remember once when a client drove by a home that I had inspected and put on our ‘To-see” list (because it really was very good) they said “Forget it. If it looks that unkempt outside we don’t even want to go inside.” The only thing that house needed was for the peeling paint on the flashing along the front of the house to be scraped and the flashing repainted. These Buyers were not atypical in their abject dismissal of a property. It is incredibly hard to positively reset a Buyer’s negative first impression.
(image courtesy of blogTO)
The weather in the wintertime is not conducive to having Buyers languish outside, pondering the Seller’s house maintenance shortcomings. It is cold outside. They want in. Summertime home viewings are a completely different ballgame. Buyers literally hang around outside, looking at everything. “That climbing hydrangea needs water.” “These front steps seem wobbly.” “There is dog shit everywhere!”.
If you are selling in the summertime engage your landscapers before you list. Trim the bushes. Edge the borders. Pull the weeds from the interlocking. At very least, cut the grass.
Have your home handyman do some paint touch-ups. No peeling paint! Have the gate to the back garden open and close without presenting a major challenge. Hang the hose where it should be. Have the plumber fix the spigot so it doesn’t spay unsuspecting Buyers who just might try turning it on. Put bright light bulbs in the outdoor light fixtures. Clean the outside too. Rent a power washer. Wash the front porch and window ledges. Clean the windows while you are at it. Plant some appealing annuals.
You get the picture.
You don’t want a solid potential buyer to pass on your house because they incorrectly infer the inside must be substandard due to the its outside condition.
2. Now is not the time to be overly ambitious when it comes to pricing.
Let’s face it; most markets slow down in the summer. Sales continue at a solid pace right throughout the summer but the buying frenzy usually abates and Buyers tend to be presented with more selection. Trying to establish that new neighbourhood high benchmark selling price in the summer can be most unwise. Overpricing a house is seldom the best strategy when it comes to getting top dollar. For all that, in a wildly busy market overpriced properties can quickly be adjusted and repositioned in the marketplace with minimal negative impact. However, if the market is quieter, such as a typical summer market, overpricing a property can have a ruinous impact on its salability. It may well sit there, just withering away causing itself damage, only helping to sell other more reasonably priced homes. Be realistic when it comes to pricing a property about to hit the summer market.
3. The marketing plan must be aggressive and all encompassing.
It’s simple. Slower markets require more resolute and focused marketing. Slapping it onto MLS is not enough, not nearly enough.
Directly query your Agent about the specifics of their plan to reach every possible buyer. Believe me, Buyers will make the effort to come back to town if they know the right house for them has just breezed onto the market.
If you are not presented with an impressive strategy you should seek a second opinion before committing to an agent that has neither the capability nor desire to get the exposure a house needs to most highly sell, particularly in the summertime.