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6 Essential Tips to Sell Your House This Summer

Prep your home to look its best during real estate’s hottest selling season.

If you’re planning to sell your home this summer — and hope to sell in time for the school year — the clock is ticking. Even before you meet with an agent, prep your home so you can capitalize on the sizzling summer selling season, when 60% of all homes are bought and sold!

Here are 6 essential steps to take now to be sale-ready after Memorial Day:

1. Tackle the obvious repairs

If you want to sell your home this summer, start by tackling all the necessary and obvious repairs. The idea is to prevent potential buyers from being distracted by chipping paint, scuffed-up floors, and leaking gutters as they tour your home. Instead of making a mental list of what needs to be fixed, they’ll be able to focus on your home’s positive qualities.

You’ll save time (and money) by eliminating needless negotiations over minor repair issues. Handling repairs ahead of time saves you from the estimated, and often overinflated, cost of repairs the buyers claim. Your actual cost will almost always be less than a buyer’s post-inspection estimate.

2. Remove your clutter and junk now

Clutter eats equity and kills deals. Period. It’s time to declutter and free up space in your home. Evaluate each item in your house and either save, store, scrap it, or sell it. Remember: less is more to make a home sellable.

Once you’ve thrown out unused items, organize the rest. Living space is a precious commodity; play it up to give your home a sense of expansiveness. Buyers will be naturally drawn to a home that feels bigger.

3. Depersonalize your home

It’s time to take down the personal collectibles, family heirlooms, and school pictures. Not that these treasures aren’t amazing — I have a house full of family heirlooms, but now is not their time in the spotlight.

When it comes to selling your home, a blank slate will appeal to potential buyers. They want to visualize themselves in the home, and to them, your memorabilia is getting in the way of that, so put it away.

4. Remove anything polarizing

When preparing your home for sale, remove any controversial elements such as religious or political items. These items tend to elicit a strong emotional reaction — don’t give the buyer a chance to prejudge your home because of your political or religious beliefs.

5. Pump up the curb appeal

First impressions are everything, and a polished facade is sure to bring buyers in the front door. Take advantage of the spring growing season. This is the time to plant grass and flowering plants, and don’t forget to trim the trees and bushes.

By sale day, your curb appeal — the way your house looks from the street — will be in full bloom and ready for the stream of potential buyers. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s why curb appeal is so critical.

6. Get a reality check

While we all have an idea of our home’s value, these self-appraisals are rarely objective. Give yourself a reality check with Trulia’s new home estimate tool. This tool provides an automated value estimate and recommends agents who can give you an even more detailed and accurate pricing.

Get to know the competition by exploring similar homes on the market in your neighborhood. A quick survey of the competition’s features and list price will be immensely helpful in picking the perfect list price for your home.

Get a head start on the summer sale season by preparing your house (and yourself). Your agent will be thrilled you’ve done your homework, and you’ll each have a realistic view of what your house is really worth!

SELLERS: What’s the first thing you’re doing to get your home ready to be shown and sold?