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Housing market on the ups

2013 seeing positive changes in the market for sellers

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May 21st, 2013

The National Association of REALTORS reported that sales of existing homes reached a three-year high in February, a traditionally slow month for home sales. And the market continues to improve. Sales totals and prices both increased in the Delaware County, Pa., and New Castle County, Del., markets, too. That s good news for homeowners wanting to sell their house and move to Maris Grove, Erickson Living s community in Delaware County.

Low inventory drives sales, prices

Suzanne McAllister, Maris Grove s personal moving consultant and a real estate agent herself, says low housing inventory is one of the factors that helped drive those increases this February. According to the multiple listing statistics, In Delaware County, the average selling price in February 2013 increased 7.98% over the February 2012 price, says McAllister. That s a huge reversal from the 18.7% decrease from February 2011 to February 2012. New Castle County, Del., showed a similar pattern. The average selling price in February 2013 increased 10.05% over February 2012. The average price had decreased 16.74% from February 2011 to February 2012. McAllister expects even greater sales gains during this summer s prime home-buying season because historically low interest rates will entice buyers, but housing inventory will likely stay low. In early April, BankRate.com reported that the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage had fallen to 3.73%, and the 15-year mortgage rate to 2.95%. Now might be the ideal time for prospective Maris Grove residents to list their house.

Prepare and price to sell

McAllister provides Maris Grove s priority list members with comprehensive and complimentary assistance for every phase of their move. The preferred moving professionals on her referral list specialize in everything from listing and selling the house to downsizing and the move itself. Eighty percent of our residents use a preferred [real estate agent], McAllister says. During the first quarter of 2013, the median days-on-market for homes listed and sold by those [agents] was nine days. The homes sold quickly because they were priced correctly, and the sellers did what was necessary to make them move-in ready. Getting a house move-in ready needn t involve expensive renovations, however. Simply depersonalizing, removing clutter, and making basic repairs can make a difference. Buyers want to imagine the house with their furnishings, McAllister says, and they want to move in without needing to make immediate changes. Diane Krause, a senior real estate specialist with Prudential Fox & Roach, is one of Maris Grove s preferred real estate agents. She has in-depth knowledge of the local market and is skilled at pricing a house to sell. The market has gone digital, she says. Because buyers house-hunt online with price range a critical search component, it s a mistake to think you can list high to compensate for a low offer. If your house is overpriced, says Krause, buyers won t even see it because it won t fit their search criterion. Maris Grove is 98% sold out. When a home becomes available, the sales office starts calling priority list members beginning with the earliest priority list date. It s crucial for priority list members to use my services as soon as they join the list, says McAllister, because whoever reserves that home should be ready to market their house immediately.

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