Tribune Print Share Text

How to make the most of the spring market

Tips and tricks from Maris Grove’s personal moving consultant

Created date

June 29th, 2016

Spring is considered the best time to list your house for sale, says Suzy McAllister, the personal moving consultant at Maris Grove, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Delaware County, Pa. 

But while spring brings out more buyers, it also brings increased competition from other sellers.

Through the Erickson Realty and Moving Services program, McAllister provides Maris Grove’s priority list members with complimentary coordination of all their realty and moving needs, including downsizing, packing, and the selection of a real estate professional. 

Her assistance includes advice about preparing a house for sale and referrals to Maris Grove’s preferred partners, who have proven expertise in every phase of the selling and moving process. It’s available whether members are just considering an Erickson Living community or are ready to list their house.

McAllister says that houses that present well are now selling in one week’s time. “The longer your house sits on the market, the less likely you’ll get close to your asking price,” she cautions. 

Members who’ve followed her advice have sold more quickly and at a better price. “You have to make your house stand out,” she says. 

McAllister’s six tips

1. Make needed repairs such as water stains on ceilings or peeling paint on windowsills and trim. Increase your home’s appeal by neutralizing brightly painted walls or taking up hallway carpeting to display hardwood floors.

2. Depersonalize by removing family photos and personal or religious items. Donate, sell, or pack them up before your move.

3. Declutter. Cull your book and DVD collections; box up hobby materials; weed your closets; and clear your tables, countertops, and cabinet tops. 

Even move out some furniture and rearrange what’s left so rooms appear more spacious. Sort, pitch, and organize in your basement and garage. 

4. Trim, mulch, and clean the yard, and tend to all your outdoor spaces. Consider repainting your front door. “First impressions begin at the curb,” says McAllister.

5. Choose your real estate agent early on; even if you’ve barely started preparing your house, the agent might have a client who would love it. 

“You also want an agent who has the expertise and professionalism to show a house to its absolute best on the Internet,” she says. “We demand that from our agents, and we check on it.”

6. Finally, give your house a thorough cleaning. That’s key to a successful sale. If you can’t tackle it yourself, McAllister’s network of preferred partners includes a company that cleans with the express intention of preparing a house for sale.

Sold in ten days

When Fran Dion prepared to move to Maris Grove from a two-bedroom house in a 55-plus community in Avondale, Pa., she scheduled a home visit with Personal Moving Consultant Suzanne McAllister.

Fran’s house was neat and clean. “But,” McAllister said, “there’s too much of everything. You really need to declutter.”

“I’d bought enough houses to know she was right,” says Fran. “So I did everything she told me.”

Fran boxed up an entire wall of pictures and had her brother-in-law fill the nail holes and repaint the wall. 

She winnowed her bookshelves, culled her closets, cleared out her basement, and thoroughly cleaned her house. 

It looked so appealing that Fran’s Maris Grove real estate agent listed it immediately.  

The listing went up March 19 and sold ten days later to the first person who saw the house.

Fran moved to a one-bedroom apartment style at Maris Grove just a year ago. “At first I thought the apartment was so small,” she says. “Now I think it’s perfect for me.

“There are things I miss, but it’s just stuff.”