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Keeping an eye on the prize

Dallas couple trades house hassles for a more carefree lifestyle

Created date

December 21st, 2010

Texas cities have a lot going for them. recently dubbed Plano America s Safest City for having the lowest violent crime rate of all big American cities. And the state s metropolitan areas dominated the Milken Institute s 2010 Best-Performing Cities index, which ranks the largest 200 U.S. cities by how well they create and sustain jobs and economic growth. Yet with all these encouraging reports, the housing market is still a source of concern for many potential sellers. Normally the housing market recovers first [after a recession] and brings the economy up with it, says Jim Gaines, a research economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. But that s not happening this time around, which is ironic because it s an excellent time to buy a home. I think we re going to see a slowly recovering housing market for the next couple of years. So, for those who are thinking about putting their house on the market, what selling strategies work?

The team approach

Patience, according to Ken and Ruth Hill. The couple recently sold their 3,200-square-foot home between LBJ and Forest Lane in Dallas and moved to Highland Springs, an Erickson Living community on the city s north side. We were ready to downsize, says Mrs. Hill. Our home had a swimming pool and a big yard to maintain. We didn t want to spend all our time keeping it up. There were other activities we wanted to enjoy. The couple called on Highland Springs Personal Moving Consultant Gail Wrzesinski to recommend moving professionals, including a real estate agent, home stager, and moving company. Mr. and Mrs. Hill took advantage of all the resources available throughErickson Realty and Moving Services, says Wrzesinski. In doing so, they qualified to be reimbursed for up to $2,000 of their moving expenses through our Move In Us program.

Right buyer, right time

With lending standards becoming increasingly more stringent, the buyer pool is not as deep as it once was, says real estate agent Sandra Starr, who listed the Hills home. It s more important than ever to market homes aggressively, says Starr. In the case of Mr. and Mrs. Hill, their home was on a busy street. The location deterred some prospective buyers, but the people who ended up buying the home loved its vantage point. They liked all the activity. We had to wait for the right buyers to come along, says Mrs. Hill. But once we got an offer, the transaction moved along quickly. With the move behind them, it didn t take long for the couple to plug into the various activities on campus. And they are still enjoying the benefits of a pool without the maintenance. I love to do water-walking, and I plan to try a water aerobics class next, says Mrs. Hill. I m really enjoying myself too much to even finish unpacking. We could have waited another year or two to put our house on the market, adds Mr. Hill. But why? We were ready to move in and start having fun.