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Is it okay to sell my house in the summer?

Eric Stewart June 21, 2018

The seasonal real estate market can vary dramatically by region. In the DC metropolitan area, there’s an old saying: “When the fireworks go up, the sales come down.” It’s not that inventory creeps higher in the summer; there’s a noticeable decrease in buyer interest as people go on vacation, focus on their out-of-school kids, and engage in summer activities.

summer house

Despite waning demand, homes in the DC area still sell well in July and August, and for more money than in late October or November. Many buyers want to get settled into a new home before the school year begins. Some started looking in the spring and missed purchasing opportunities, either by being too particular or by losing in bidding wars. These candidates will likely be eager buyers in summer.

timing the marketMost real estate agents are taught that there are two markets every year – spring and fall. In the DC metro area, they preach waiting until after Labor Day to put a home on the market. Though it’s true that there may be greater demand in September and October, the inventory is also significantly higher, creating more competition.

What can you do to maximize the appeal of your home for the summer market? Put extra focus on curb appeal and seasonal amenities:

  • Create outdoor sitting areas and dust them often
  • Make sure your pool is clean
  • Clean windows inside and out
  • Keep your air conditioner on a cool setting (70 or below)
  • Repair gutters/siding and power wash the house
  • Mow the lawn often and be sure to blow the grass off walkways afterwards
  • Add pots of colorful flowers in the front
  • Provide refreshments for showings (iced tea, bottled water, butter cookies) – a cool house with refreshments makes people want to linger when it’s sweltering outside

Check out our previous post on summer home maintenance tips for more ideas.

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