House sellers are being encouraged to get their properties market-ready in time for the traditional summer peak of activity.
In 2015, August 10 was the busiest day of the year for house hunters browsing properties on website Rightmove, with more than 43 million page views recorded.
Sarah Beeny, owner of estate agent Tepilo, said during the summer holiday period when many people have time off work, a seller’s property may be seen by a much larger number of people than usual, boosting the chances of multiple viewings and a sale.
She said: “Lots of people put their houses on the market around this time of year, so you really do need to go the extra mile to make your property stand out from the crowd.”
But this year has seen some disruption to the housing market – and with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) recently saying that the number of potential house hunters has fallen back at the fastest rate since 2008, some house sellers may find they have to work harder this summer to show their property off to its best and achieve the price they want.
The disruption has been partly caused by a stamp duty hike for buy-to-let investors from April 1, which prompted a rush of investors snapping up homes earlier in the early months of 2016, rather than leaving their purchases until later on in the year.
The EU referendum vote has also caused uncertainty, with the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) saying this week that the number of mortgage approvals made to home buyers in June was down by 11% compared with June 2015.
However, the BBA has cautioned against putting too much emphasis on its June figures as a sign of how the economy is performing after the Brexit vote.
Here are some tips from Beeny to help sellers make the most of summer housing market activity:
Give your garden some TLC. Make sure all bushes and trees are trimmed, de-weed and mow your lawn, and make sure patios, paths and decking are moss-free and clean. Brightly-coloured flowers in pots and borders also help to cheer up a garden, further adding appeal.
Make the most of the natural light that streams into your property in summer. Get rid of blinds and dark curtains that block light out and strategically place mirrors in places that will reflect sunlight to make rooms seem even brighter.
Lightly-coloured decor and furnishings will also help create a livelier, brighter space. Open windows ahead of viewings to let in plenty of fresh air.
People buy into certain lifestyles, and perfect summer living is one of them. If you have French doors leading out to the garden, make a feature of them. And turn your garden or yard into a summertime oasis with colourful garden furniture, a barbecue, outdoor fairy lights and potted plants.
When the sun is shining, dirt on windows can really show up, so remember to make your windows sparkle and give the best impression of your property.