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Here to help

Personalized moving assistance takes the edge off selling and moving

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May 7th, 2017
Personal Moving Consultant Laurie Williamson meets with prospective residents in their home, armed with a magnetic floor plan of their new apartment at Seabrook.
Personal Moving Consultant Laurie Williamson meets with prospective residents in their home, armed with a magnetic floor plan of their new apartment at Seabrook.

Whether you’re moving to Seabrook in one month or one year, Personal Moving Consultant Laurie Williamson provides personalized assistance to help make the load—and the experience—a lot lighter. 

She can help you select a real estate agent, moving company, and senior move manager. And while most people moving to Seabrook have to downsize, she provides a helping hand with that too. Here, she explains what she offers and why it’s such a useful resource. 

Q: What does a personal moving consultant like yourself do? 

A: A personal moving consultant is a professional experienced in real estate, downsizing, and staging, and well versed in the area’s real estate and moving vendors. I work one on one with people who have reserved a home at Seabrook to take the weight of moving off their shoulders. 

Q: I’ve heard you mention the term “home visit” before. What happens at a home visit?   

A: I visit prospective Seabrook residents in their current house. We make a plan for the small home improvements that will greatly increase the value of their current home, uncover the big-ticket items that may delay the sale of their home, and create a timeline for their move. The timeline includes how and when to get the house ready, a to-do list, and home listing and moving plans. 

We also create a downsizing plan. I find that most people really aren’t attached to their stuff; they just don’t know what to do with it. That’s where all of our resources come into play. My clients are thrilled to learn that we have estate sales, auctioneers, and buyouts and cleanouts. 

Through the process of working together with me, my clients often learn they don’t really want all the stuff taking up space in their house. Then the downsizing process becomes easy. The sentimental items can go to family, or we can usually add them to the floor plan of their new Seabrook apartment. 

Generally, people have more “stuff” than sentimental things of value. When we go through it in a systemized manner together, they easily recognize the difference between the two.

Q: How successful has the program been at Seabrook? 

A: Erickson Realty and Moving Services is an exceptional service that Erickson Living provides to their customers. I have some stats from 2016 to share with you that show how successful it really is.

At Seabrook, out of the 141 apartments reserved, 141 households utilized our realty and moving services. Of those, 30% used the services of a preferred real estate agent, and the average days on market was 42 for 2016. Our preferred real estate agents are top sellers who we invite into our program based on their selling and communication skills. 

Properties were closing just under full price or experiencing multiple offers going over the list price.

Our extended team of downsizers and senior move managers were widely used, and approximately 95% of the moves were with our referred moving companies. I refer services such as approved auctioneers, cleanout services, and donation sites to our customer.

Q: When during the moving process should people start working with you?

A: It’s never too soon to start the process of downsizing and selling your house. You never know when your ideal apartment home will become available, so the sooner you start the process, the more prepared you’ll be to move when you have the chance.  

Nine times out of ten, people just don’t know where to begin. That’s why my [coordination] services are free—we want the moving process to be as easy and painless as possible so you can start enjoying the Seabrook lifestyle as quickly as possible.

It’s important to not wait until your new home is ready to begin preparing your current house for the market. Start now. We can spend valuable time preparing your house so it’s in tip-top shape to hit the market.

Q: Moving is not fun at any age. This sounds like such an innovative program, especially for older adults. What’s the background? How did it get started? 

A: It actually started at an Erickson Living community in Detroit, Mich., called Fox Run, back in 2005. As you’ll remember, at that time the housing market was booming. But, many homes at Fox Run that had been reserved still sat vacant. 

Sharon Baksa, who was working as a moving coordinator at Fox Run, decided to uncover the holdup. She visited people in their houses who had reserved an apartment but hadn’t moved yet. She listened to them. They told her they were stressed about downsizing, staging their house, and finding a real estate agent. Some had no family support or low vision. They each had an issue that prevented them from getting their house show-ready so that it would sell, or it was simply too overwhelming for them no matter how badly they wanted to move to Fox Run. 

She began working with each of those people to help them overcome that issue. They eventually made it a formalized program at Fox Run, and it did so well that now every Erickson Living community across the country, including Seabrook, offers complimentary coordination of all realty and moving needs, including downsizing, home staging, packing, and selection of a real estate professional.

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