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8 Tips for Selling a Home in Summer

BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- Steamy summer months aren't always the hottest time of the year to show your home to prospective buyers, but take the right steps and you can get interest in your place sizzling.

"It's challenging to get buyers to look at houses in hot weather," says Brad Knapp of Henkle, Schueler Realtors 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.

So the expert recommends taking some extra steps to make sure your home shows well in the summertime.

Just as smart sellers trim a home's bushes in the spring and rake up leaves in the fall to maximize "curb appeal," savvy property owners will go the extra mile to make their places look good during summer months.

Here are eight things Knapp says every would-be seller should do this summer to get their property moving:

Don't skimp on air conditioning
No one will want to look at your home if it's as hot inside as the temperature is outside.

That's why Knapp says people without central air conditioning might consider keeping their properties off of the market until the fall.

"Even if you have window units, they just don't do the job when it's approaching 100 degrees out," he says.

Assuming your home does have central air, get it inspected before putting the home on the market so it keeps functioning through the summer.

Then keep the thermostat around 72 degrees all the time to cool and dehumidify your home.

Knapp says you shouldn't try to save money by turning the air conditioning down when you're out. Doing so will create the risk of having a place that's too warm or muggy if house hunters show up on short notice.

Leave the lights on
This is another area where you'll have to skip energy efficiency for a while.

Knapp says it's important to keep lots of lights on at all times -- especially in the basement, hallways and other places that don't get much sun.

"You don't have to light your house up like a Christmas tree," he says, "but you don't want an agent who's showing the home to have to spend a lot of time pawing for light switches."
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