Let’s face it. Summer is NOT the ideal time to buy or sell a house. Summer comes with many distractions. Kids are out of school, which can make shopping for a home tougher on parents. Summer is filled with vacations, family reunions, and many other activities which leaves little room for transplanting the family into a new home. But, right now in Boise, the sellers have the upper hand and much like the hot sun, summertime is YOUR time to shine.
There is a major influx of people flocking to Idaho (mostly Boise) from other states. The market is flush with sellers looking to get their foot in the door before the rest of their friends arrive. Most families, even if it ruins a little summer fun, want to be in their new home before school starts. Let’s walk through some of the summer’s top rules for selling your home when both the market and the temperatures are sizzling.
Rule #1: Make sure your house is “social media ready”
If sharing is caring, then people must care a LOT these days. Love it or hate it, social media, just like smartphones, has taken a solid hold in our lives. If we can embrace that fact, we can stand to make a lot of money by selling a home this year. First thing’s first: make that first impression of your home something that people want to take a picture of to brag to their friends about. Yeah, people want a home that’s right for their family’s needs and budget and location, but we can’t ignore the brag factor.
People want to be proud of their new home and they want a way to make their friends and family a teeny tiny bit jealous. Is your home camera ready? Think of features and perks that you can add to the front of your house that will show up on camera. Maybe it’s time to repaint the exterior with a new, striking color, or plant that beautiful box garden you’ve always wanted. Experiment by walking to your curb and snapping a few pictures of your house on your smartphone (we know you have one!) and see how they turn out. Pay attention to what pops out and what may need some upkeep. Each picture can turn into a simple to-do list to get your home flying off the proverbial shelves. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but we’d prefer it to add a few thousand on top of our asking price! It’s a #smartmove.
Rule #2: Make sure your house is pleasing to the OTHER senses
We put so much stock into what we can see that we forget that potential buyers have four other senses at play which are just as important. The tricky thing about crafting the perfect smell experience for your house is that you’re already used to the current “background radiation” of smells. Here’s how to remedy that: This summer, do yourself a favor and fork out a hundred bucks or so and stay at a hotel for a night. Maybe make a fun date out of it. Just make sure to be away from your house for at least 24 hours. Now, when you walk in again for the first time pay very close attention to two things: what do you smell and how does the temperature feel?
That smell you notice when you first walk in is exactly what a buyer is going to smell when they drop by. Make sure that their olfactory experience is just as pleasant as your house’s visual appeal. It may be time to move the kitchen trash can or clean out the garbage disposal or deep clean the carpets. If the buyer’s not smelling something they like, they’re not buying. And no, don’t put cookies in the oven. That is a tacky trick and it may put your potential buyers in an uneasy mood because they may think you are trying to cover up another smell. Remember: smells and tastes are far more easily connected to memories than images. They will forget the decor but remember the smell.
Remember the second part about the air conditioning? Yeah, in the summer you need to be showing that off bigtime! One thing that really separates Idaho from other states like, let’s say California, is that we have HOT summers. In LA, the average high temperature for August is a paltry 84*F. We typically see it hit that temp in March here in the high desert, so people from out of state (who are buying most of the homes) are going to need to know that their new house will be a haven from the scorching triple digit summers we typically get here. If they walk into your house this summer and it’s 75*F and balmy with the AC chugging along to keep up, you can forget bartering over closing costs because they are going to be on to the next home on their list before you can say “ice water.”
Rule #3: Have patience. Will sell.
Don’t forget that this is a seller’s market (for the time being) and you have the luxury of being a little more firm on your asking price. Stop being tempted to lower your price just to sell the house. Hold onto it at the price you would like to get out of it because a lot of your blood, sweat, and tears you put into your investment can evaporate in an instant if you settle for a lowball offer. Stand your ground. Many buyers will try to test your mettle by starting with a lower price. If you stay firm, they may just come back with the offer you are looking for. The buyers are coming. It’s only a matter of time before the right one finds you. And, if you follow the other rules we set forth today, you should have no problem matching your house with the perfect buyer this summer.