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Double-duty spring cleaning

Selling tips from Fox Run moving experts

Created date

February 22nd, 2011

Settling in at Fox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich., is the fun part. Preparing to sell your house maybe not so much, unless you know where to turn for help. That s one of the best things Fox Run does, says Michele Safford. They remove the stress and make it easy to move. Safford is one of the trusted and approved real estate agents with Fox Run s Erickson Realty and Moving Services program. Personal Moving Consultant Mary Wolfe oversees the program. It s complimentary to Fox Run s priority list members, people who ve made a fully refundable deposit to reserve their place in line for an apartment home. She and her team of moving professionals are available to assist folks with every step of their move. Three of those professionals Safford with RE/MAX Home Sales Services in Plymouth, and Ellen and Gary Newville with Birmingham-area Hall & Hunter Realtors, offer the following tips about preparing your house for sale.

Decluttering

Downsizing and decluttering are essential but can seem overwhelming, says Mrs. Newville. People don t know where to start. But buyers want an impression of order, and a decluttered home gives the impression of being well-maintained and much roomier. For instance, If you can see the back of the closet, she says, it looks as if you have more closet space. Because sorting through years of accumulated stuff can be difficult, the Newvilles recommend approaching it like spring cleaning: Do something every day or week, whether that s one room, one closet, or one drawer. Replacing paperwork with a centerpiece on your dining room table or removing all but two items from your foyer table will make an immediate difference. When you winnow an area, repeat Mr. Newville s mantra: Now I have the things I want, not an accumulation of just stuff. He says it s okay to temporarily move items to a basement or garage: If you re going to have clutter, have it there. Buyers who have basements understand those things will be removed. He also advises using Fox Run s floor plan blueprints and furniture cutouts. They ll let you visualize what furniture will fit in your apartment home.

Pricing it right

The best money people can spend is to hire a licensed appraiser before they market their house, says Michele Safford. Then we know upfront the true market value. The house has to appraise for the buyer to get a mortgage. An appraisal lets you know where your house stands in relation to others on the market and lets everyone go into the process realistically. Do you need to repair winter damage? Would cosmetic upgrades give the house appeal? If you decide against cosmetic upgrades say, granite countertops, We have to adjust the price to be below market value because the homes we re competing with have those upgrades, Safford says. And, she adds, while price will overcome any objection, houses with upgrades appeal to more buyers and generate quicker offers. When deciding between lowering your asking price or making upgrades, Safford says to take a step back. Removing emotion from the decision really helps. That s where other family members come in. Sometimes we can put the big jobs on their shoulders. She says the real estate market has yet to level off, but there s less competition now. With the inventory low, it s supply and demand. And we re getting multiple-offer situations. That s exciting. It s the biggest shift we ve seen having buyers in multiple-offer situations willing to pay over the appraised value. Now is the best time for people to move to Fox Run.

Sold in a hurry

Barbara Oleszkowicz moved to Fox Run last year from Farmington Hills and offers this advice: 1. Take pictures down, take art down, and clean your place up. Less is better, the real estate agents kept telling me, and it really is true. 2. Buyers want a well-cared-for house, both inside and out. That includes a well-trimmed lawn, sparkling windows, and an organized garage. The garage can be spiffed up real easy by putting things together, cleaning corners, and getting rid of things you were going to get rid of anyway. Oleszkowicz s house sold in a hurry. Soon after she listed it last January with a real estate agent recommended by Erickson Realty and Moving Services, she received a cash offer. Now, instead of watching TV, she s doing water aerobics with her neighbors, playing cards, and making quilts. I m living the Life of Riley, she says. There are so many ways to blossom here.

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