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Against all odds

Friends sell home in four days despite snow, shaky housing market

Created date

December 21st, 2010

You would think that attempting to sell your house in the aftermath of a blizzard and during a recession would be an exercise in futility. But Judy Strum and Patricia Phelps weren t going to let wet weather and a challenging housing market spoil their dream of moving to Oak Crest. We had initially planned on moving to Oak Crest in the summer of 2011, says Strum, and we were just kind of dragging our feet. But then we visited the community and heard about the financial incentives Oak Crest was offering, as well as assistance with selling and moving. When we found out we could get up to $2,000 back in rebates for using Erickson-preferred real estate professionals and movers, we thought, Why wait? With help from Erickson Realty and Moving Services, a personalized program for people moving to an Erickson Living community, the lifelong friends sold the Cromwell Valley house they shared for 35 years in four days! It s really astonishing if you think about it in today s market, says Strum. We listed our house the first week of March 2010. There was snow on the ground, but that Saturday we ended up with six people requesting appointments. At the open house on Sunday, 14 people came through and before we knew it we had three offers on the house, and the next day we had a contract for full asking price. It was incredible!

Supply and demand

Gale and John Hagan of Prudential Caruthers in Lutherville listed the four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home. The husband-wife real estate team says Strum and Phelps s timing was spot-on and note, contrary to popular belief, selling in the off-season can often be profitable. While it would seem logical to wait until spring when more buyers are coming out, the fact is more sellers will be joining the already bulging inventory, says Mrs. Hagan. The law of supply and demand has the final say, and with so much inventory, prices cannot go up but rather may fall even further. Hagan and her colleagues agree that it will be at least five years or more before the market will see a significant increase in real estate prices and warns people not to expect them to return to 2005 levels. As for Strum and Phelps, Hagan credits their home s quick sale to their willingness to play by the rules. They did everything right, says Hagan. Ms. Strum and Ms. Phelps priced their home competitively to attract the greatest number of buyers. And they made suggested updates to their home to make it more appealing to today s buyers without spending a lot of money, she says. Hagan introduced Strum and Phelps to a reputable home stager who helped prepare the house for the market. The home stager worked wonders with the house, says Phelps. She suggested small changes we would never have thought of like painting the interior of the house a neutral color, painting the front door and replacing the handle with a new knob, updating the light fixtures in the bathrooms, and changing the look of the kitchen cabinets with new hardware. She also rearranged the furniture to make the rooms look larger and added details like mini-shades on our dining room chandelier, coordinating throw pillows, and a mirror for the living room. When she was finished, the whole house looked incredible!

Winning team

Life changes are never easy, and it s important to know at the end of the day you ve done the right thing, says Hagan. The physical process of moving is tough at any age, and Oak Crest really understands practically, physically, and emotionally what it takes to conduct a successful move. Strum and Phelps agree wholeheartedly. The whole experience was really incredible, says Strum. I still can t believe how quickly everything went. We were kind of paralyzed until Erickson s moving program facilitated things and showed us what steps to take. They really made all the difference in what we were able to accomplish. Nine months later, Strum and Phelps have settled into their new home at Oak Crest and say they couldn t be happier. We love our apartment! says Strum. The view is incredible! We can actually see the Chesapeake Bay off in the distance and the Key Bridge. Everyone is so friendly. I have no question whatsoever that we made the right decision.