When buying or selling a home in Ahwatukee in the month of August, there are a few things you need to think about. First, if you are a seller, be prepared August is coming. Most schools in the area start back the beginning to the middle of August. This means many potential buyers are going to be super busy trying to get school supplies, back to school shopping, vacations completed, etc. They don’t have a lot of time to spend looking around, so make your place stand out. Think of a model home and start staging your home to look like one. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but just make your house the best looking your house can be. Ask your Realtor for some help in what you should or shouldn’t do, or hire a consultant or a stager; they will be worth the investment.

Second, this is not a good time to “test the market.” If you want to sell your house, listen to your agent and his or her advice on pricing. Most agents know there are fewer buyers this time of year, so every set of eyes that comes in is valuable. Don’t miss the boat by having your house looking great but pricing it above market.

Last, we know it is hot outside, but please do not stay in the home while the buyers are looking. I promise you they won’t stay as long as they wanted, they won’t ask as many questions and you may miss a great opportunity. Find a great coffee shop you can sit in for an hour or go to a bookstore. It is perfectly OK to ask the agent showing your house if they can call you right before they head over so you know when to leave.

For the buyers shopping in August, you are troopers! Like I mentioned, we know it is hot out and some houses don’t have their air conditioning on, but with some patience, we can really find good deals. Since many people are preoccupied right now, your competition has gone down. You have time to negotiate, there is more than one option and you can feel a little more in control.

In order to spend less time running in and out of a car, check out all the potential homes ahead of time with a drive-by. Take your list and cruise the neighborhoods in your air-conditioned car. You may be able to rule some properties out just by the area. This way, when you take your list to your Realtor, you know the houses you want to see will be in the areas you like the most.

August is a great month. We are getting close to the fall, school is back in session, football preseason starts, and home sellers and buyers are wanting to get down to business. Right now is a great time for you to buy or sell!

• Christie Ellis, of United Brokers Group, is a real estate broker specializing in the Ahwatukee area. She is the author of “Real Estate Agent CEMETERY: How to Survive the Fears, Challenges, and Mistakes That Can Kill Your Real Estate Career.” Reach her at (480) 201-3575 or www.StopTheCarThisIsIt.com.

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