How to make your home really stand out this summer

When the temperatures start soaring up past 30-degrees and riding around in a hot car to view homes on sale is the last thing anyone wants to do, having your home cool and “summer-ready” for prospective buyers can make it really stand out among other listings – and significantly increase your chances of selling it.
“Summer is a great time to be selling,” says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group, “because lots of families have some extra time to look for a new home as the school and work-year comes to an end. Gardens and outdoor areas are generally also at their best at this time of year.
“But the heat can sometimes also make people reluctant to come out for a viewing, or reluctant to stay for long, so you need to make it worth their while.”
With this in mind, here are some suggestions for presenting your home as a cool and welcoming oasis where prospective buyers feel inclined to linger, look around some more – and then to make an offer:
*If you have time, paint your home inside and out in white or a pale neutral and varnish any woodwork. Nothing says “summer” like the scrubbed and freshly-painted look.
*Remove or pack away anything that immediately says “winter”, such as heaters or heavy curtains or warm throws hung over beds and couches. If you have a fireplace, decorate it with summer flowers or plants.
*Consider rolling-up and putting away your loose rugs to show off your freshly varnished wooden floors or an expanse of cool tiles. (See pic)
*Be ruthless about de-cluttering every single surface, and don’t go overboard on seasonal decorations which can make your home feel smaller and hotter.
*If you haven’t used them in a while, give ceiling fans or the air conditioner vents and filters a good clean so that you can put them on when you know there is a prospective buyer coming round and make your home a blissful escape from the heat.
*If you don’t have air conditioning, open the windows and doors on the cooler side of the house to let the breeze in, and make sure all curtains are drawn to let in as much light as possible.
*If you have an outdoor entertainment area, make sure it looks clean and tidy and ready to use. Dress it up with a few containers of flowering plants and set the table if you have one for an alfresco meal under a shady umbrella or gazebo.
*Set out a tray of chilled glasses and some ice-water or cold drinks for those viewing your home. Everyone appreciates a cool, refreshing drink on a hot day.
*Lastly, don’t forget to make your home appear a "must see" among online property listings by insisting on professional-quality photos of all the areas you’ve staged perfectly. Also make sure the details of your home are entered correctly and that the listing looks like a home you would like to view yourself.

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