In most markets, the Spring season is the most important time of year for buying or selling a home. However, with stay-at-home orders imposed in many markets by mid-March, some new listings never saw the light of day. In addition, tightening in the mortgage markets and job uncertainty discouraged many buyers from looking for a new home this year.
Now, as states explore reopening scenarios and people learn to navigate the new normal, both buyers and sellers are starting to take a fresh look at their options. An active late-Spring or Summer market is expected to develop, allowing hopeful buyers and sellers to fulfill their 2020 real estate goals.
How should you plan for this Summer market? How will it differ from a traditional Spring market? Below are the best tips for both buyers and sellers for an effective and profitable Summer real estate market.
Buying Tips for Summer
If you are buying a home this year, you will probably be looking for a resale property. Massive stoppages in the construction sector mean that new homes are scarce. At the same time, you’ll probably have concerns about the safety of touring homes. Ask your real estate agent or broker to provide you with virtual home tours, if possible, in order to narrow down your list and avoid large numbers of in-person tours.
While a large number of days on market might usually have a negative connotation, remember that many houses sitting without offers may have listed early in the Spring selling cycle. They may be perfectly nice, move-in ready homes that simply hit the market at the wrong time.
At the same time, due to the economic downturn of the past couple of months, many homeowners in your area may be moving to find a new job or to get out from under their current debt load. This may make them highly motivated and looking for a quick sale.
In either case, you may be able to negotiate somewhat more aggressively than you normally would. However, this depends on the inventory in your market and the pent-up demand from buyers in your area. Talk with your real estate professional to discuss current comps for the neighborhoods you’re most interested in.
It’s easy to be charmed by a home in Summer, when it’s at its lightest and brightest. You’ll no doubt imagine long days on the deck, grilling out with socially distanced friends, and plenty of backyard playtime for the kids. Remember, however, that fall will turn to winter, and those indoor spaces will once again become the most important parts of the home.
Make sure that the home’s interior works for the way your family lives now. Do you all spend your time gathered together in the family room or do you each like your own individual space? Do you and your husband both work from home now? Do you each need a home office, preferably far away from each other? If COVID-19 restrictions come back in the fall and schools are closed, is there enough space for everyone to get their work done? Thinking through the way you and your family live each day is an important part of making sure you are all comfortable and productive.
An elaborate garden, manicured shrubbery, and other impressive landscaping may give a home tremendous appeal. However, if you’re not an experienced gardener, will you be able to maintain that look? How much will it cost to hire a professional to do so?
Consider the home you’re looking at from every angle, including upkeep, maintenance, and utility costs throughout the year. Those lush green trees will drop a lot of leaves in the fall. Those high ceilings may present a heating challenge come winter. Think through the pros and cons of every season when you are evaluating your new home’s appeal.
Selling Tips for Summer
You may have been on the fence about selling your home this year. However, in many markets, low inventory makes this a great time to sell, and you may find yourself fielding multiple offers. At the same time, you and your real estate professional will want to talk through ways to minimize foot traffic through your home, including upgraded photography and videography for more impressive online marketing.
During the Summer, outdoor spaces become one of the home’s most effective selling points. Take a look at your existing outdoor spaces. Do they look as good as they could? The grass may be perfect, but how do the hardscapes look? Consider pressure washing paths, patios, and driveways to make your outdoor spaces look their best.
Want to spruce up your outdoor spaces even more? A new patio umbrella, newly painted porch furniture, or some easy-care plants may take your porch or deck from good to great. These affordable updates can really improve your home’s curb appeal without breaking the bank.
Before photography, video tours, or in-person tours, open every curtain and blind, turn on all the lamps, and flood your home with light. Replace heavy draperies with light and gauzy linen. This is the time to open up the window coverings and let the sun shine in. If you have overgrown trees or shrubbery, consider having them strategically trimmed to let in even more light and enhance your home’s exterior spaces.
Summertime Staging Ideas
Brightening up your home’s interior doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Consider the following staging strategies:
- Replace dark throws and cushions with light, bright, summery colors that pop.
- Focus on decluttering to make your space feel as light as possible.
- Replace heavy, dark rugs with bare floors or natural fiber rugs.
- Replace dark, formal artwork with light, bright, unframed canvases.
- Consider the air quality in your home. Run air purifiers or open windows wide for a breath of fresh air.
- Don’t limit yourself to visual cues. Consider summertime scents of citrus or greenery in candles or fragrance diffusers.