By Susan Fogel
It’s La Paz; its summer; it’s H-O-T. It’s time to hide in the cool darkness of your shuttered and air-conditioned home. If you are like me, you open the windows and doors in the morning to air out the house and capture the last gasps of the cooler night air. Then you wait until the last minute to crank up the AC. I hate to capitulate and close up the house, and I like to think I am saving the environment and pennies.
But when you know a potential buyer is coming, you have to forget about those things and have the house ready. “It’s challenging to get buyers to look at houses in hot weather,” says Brad Knapp, a Realtor in suburban Cincinnati, where the mercury topped 100 degrees in recent days. “Even though buyers have air-conditioning in their cars, you have to convince them to get into their cars–then out of their cars–to check places out,” says Knapp, a National Association of Realtors regional vice president.
But buyers have been looking at properties in La Paz all summer. Some of our sellers report that lookers are coming to the door. We have had buyers calling because they saw a sign. And others are coming with their agents. So what should you do?
Be flexible. We have agents wanting to show our properties in the cool of the morning and then again in the early evening. Be ready to clear out. Here are some tips that will make your house more appealing to hot, thirsty, house hunters.
- Turn on the AC with enough time to cool the house before the Realtor and their client arrive.
- Open the curtains wide, and make sure the windows are clear of summer dust.
- Closed up houses don’t smell fresh. Sprinkle some cinnamon on some boiling water and let it infuse the house. But don’t over-do it.
- Have some cold water or a pitcher of iced tea and pretty glasses on the counter ready for the parched buyers.
- Leave lights on.
- Toss a colorful inflatable, noodle, or beach ball in the pool.
- Make the house look summer-ready, raise your patio umbrellas, roll colorful towels and place them at the end of the lounge chairs.
- Spray down the patios so they don’t look dry and dusty.
- Deadhead your flowers. Dried out plants add to the impression of too much heat.
- A bowl of mangoes and papayas on the table or counter adds a tropical touch.
- Be vigilant about animal hair. Your dog or cat sheds more in summer. Pick up their beds and shake them out or hide them.
- I like to use bunches of vibrant bougainvillea in jars and vases. Add a small piece of palm frond to the arrangement. This screams “paradise”.
Since it stays hot until mid-October, think about investing in some bright-colored throw pillows and white or cool blue bed linens. These small touches go a long way to make your home memorable. And don’t forget to write that letter to your buyer about the things you love about your house. You want your house to be memorable because it was cool, clean, smelled good, and felt like paradise. Not because it was hot and stuffy. Buying decisions are mostly emotional, and that cool glass of lemonade may be the thing that pushes someone to make an offer on your house. Consider, when you come back after the agent and her clients leave, your house will be sparkling, smell nice, and be cooler than you usually keep it in the middle of the day.