Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


Summer Selling - Maybe It's Not the Time to Conserve!

We all want to be "green" and reduce our personal carbon footprints.  But I think whoever passes out dispensations includes people who are trying to sell their homes, especially during the summertime.

First, DC has been hotter than Houston lately, and sometimes the humidity is so high that it feels like you can swim through the air.  So having a super functional air conditioning system is really important.  Have the system serviced before you put your house on the market, and be sure to change the filters often.  I recommend setting the thermometer at somewhere around 75 degrees.  And yes, your electric bill might go up a bit, but keeping the house warm is a false economy.  You want people to think your house is hot, and the only way to do that is to be cool!

Many people are using draperies that, when pulled closed, help keep the room cool.  But when your home is for sale, you want to pull them back and let the sun shine in.  Brighter is better.

And speaking of brighter, there is another good habit you it's good to change.  We recommend that you use the same type of bulbs in all of the lamps and fixtures in the room- and not the new energy saving products.  If you've been hoarding incandescent bulbs, this is the time to pull them out and up the wattage.  Even if a room gets a reasonable amount of natural light, helping it out with a few lamps is a good idea.  If you know there is going to be a showing, turn on every light in the house.  If you won't be home and don't know if any agents will show up with buyers that day, leave at least some lights on so they don't feel like they are walking into a cave.

If you follow this advice, your electric bill may go up a big while the house is for sale, but the idea is to help you increase your sales price to way over your expenditures for energy use. 

Then, once your house in under contract, you can go back to conserving energy!


Comment balloon 18 commentsPatricia Kennedy • July 18 2014 07:22AM


So true.  I hate showing hot houses and my clients generally feel the same way.  I showed a house the other day that was really cool and we stayed a long time looking at the house.  It felt good to be in out of the heat!  If only sellers would understand that spring a couple hundred bucks for cooler AC could make the difference between sold and sitting!


Posted by Pamela Madore, Team Work Makes The Dream Work (The Pamela Madore Group) almost 6 years ago

Interesting idea...I have a listing now that has automatic lights with sensors...great ide

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) almost 6 years ago

If a house is uncomfortably hot prospective buyer will rush back to the comfort of their air-conditioned car.  This is not what sellers want to happen.  I recently sold a house in Rancho Mirage (the CA desert) with daytime temps often above 100 degrees.  I asked my seller to keep the interior cool enough to feel like an oasis compared t the exterior heat.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) almost 6 years ago

We know that the homes here sell when they are light and bright and cool.


Posted by Elite Home Sales Team, A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team (Elite Home Sales Team OC) almost 6 years ago

Homes for sale in the summer must be kept cool. Stepping into a home that is cool is so refreshing and yes a buyer does stay longer. :) Great reminder Pat

Posted by Martha Brown, Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403) almost 6 years ago

Good points, Pat. Our weather is much more temperate, few houses have air conditioning (although that's beginning to change) but keeping the house light and bright is important here as well.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 6 years ago

Hi Pat - You're right, it's a necessary expense. I showed a couple of homes this week that were vacant with the a/c turned off - the temps were in the 90's, and the air was stale. My clients didn't spend any time looking, and the homes didn't get the consideration thay would have deserved.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 6 years ago

Pat, I agree with you! Everytime I show a home with energy saving bulbs they don't light up until it's time to turn them off and leave!

Posted by Kathy Smiley, Westlake Village, CA - "Making YOU Smile!" (Rodeo Realty ~ Fine Estates Westlake Village) almost 6 years ago


I agree one should do all the right things to show a home in its best light, so to speak.  It may look like it costs more, but in the long run it is a major saving if the home does not linger on the market.  Two of our clients keep the car on while showing homes in hot weather, so that their client is comfortable when heading to the next showing...Cost more in gas, but well worth the expenditure.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) almost 6 years ago

Great advice Patricia! It would look like you were hiding something in the dark. Thanks for the tips!

Posted by Patty Da Silva, Davie, Southwest Ranches Cooper City, Plantation, Weston, REALTOR, Top Listing Broker (BROKER of Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-7253) almost 6 years ago

Good advice Patricia, I'd never thought about changing habits like this when selling a property.  Love that you mentioned the energy saving bulbs....I hate those things! 

Posted by John Meussner, #MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852 (Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA,) almost 6 years ago

Pat you hit a homerun with these thoughts on selling a home in the summertime! We recently sold a smaller home where the homeowner really cranked the air down low--probably 72 degrees. In our hot summer weather it was such a relief to get inside that house! It felt great!

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or almost 6 years ago

Pat, this is excellent advice for home sellers.  By spending a little bit more in electricity for a short period of time can lead to tremendous financial gains by fetching a higher sales price

Posted by ReadySetLoan Condo Approval Team, The FHA/VA Condo Project Approval Specialists (ReadySetLoan Condo Team LLC) almost 6 years ago

Pat, this is really an important point: Maybe it is not the time to conserve.

The Seller wants to sell so they need to do what they can to help it happen.

There is a saying: "Penny smart and pound foolish".

Sellers should pay attention to Pat's sage advise.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA almost 6 years ago

Oh yes, lighting and AC are so important to selling your home (or heat in the winter).

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 6 years ago

Why do people shut their AC of for summer showings and heat off for winter showings?

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC) almost 6 years ago

Pamela and Norma, no kidding!  A hot house is only good if you are a tomato.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (Redfin) almost 6 years ago

Kristin, I haven't seen any motion activated lights around here, but what a great idea!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (Redfin) almost 6 years ago