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Selling your house this summer?

Moving expert Vera Ballard has some timely tips to get your house ready for this summer’s hot seller’s market

Created date

June 14th, 2018
Charlestown Personal Moving Consultant Vera Ballard has helped hundreds of seniors with their move to the Erickson Living community in Catonsville, Md.

Charlestown Personal Moving Consultant Vera Ballard has helped hundreds of seniors with their move to the Erickson Living community in Catonsville, Md.

If you’re looking for the right time to sell your home, this summer might be your best bet. A shrinking inventory and historically low interest rates have made for a strong seller’s market.

CoreLogic, a financial data and analytics company, forecasts that home prices will climb by about 4% in 2018. But as the old saying goes, what goes up must come down, and Moody’s Analytics predicts that by 2019, home prices nationally will be 3.7% lower, on average.

Vera Ballard, a personal moving consultant who helps retirees sell their houses and move to Charlestown, the Erickson Living community in Catonsville, Md., sat down with the Tribune to answer some important questions for homeowners who are looking to sell this summer.

Q: Is summer a good time to sell?

A: I always say the best time to sell your house is when you are ready to move. Houses that are priced appropriately sell no matter what the season. Interest rates remain low, and many buyers are out shopping and eager to move while they can get a good rate.

Summer is a good time to sell because there’s still time for families who want to get settled before a new school year begins.

Q: What can I do now to get my house ready to sell?

A: Start organizing and decluttering. Remove knickknacks and personal possessions like photos and awards. Prospective buyers want to imagine your home as if it were their own. Less clutter makes this easier to accomplish and makes the space feel bigger.

Lighting is just as important. Remove dark draperies and pull open blinds or shades to let the light in. And don’t forget to have your windows cleaned.

Set the thermostat to a nice cool temperature so that potential buyers are comfortable during their visit.

Don’t forget the outside. A green lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs, new mulch, and colorful annuals will add to your curb appeal and make a good first impression.

Your patio and deck are an extension of your home offering an outdoor retreat, so be sure they are as welcoming as your interior. Freshen up by power washing your siding and deck. Have your patio furniture out, clean, and ready for buyers to sit and enjoy your outdoor space.

Q: If my house isn’t ready for sale in time for the summer selling season, how could that affect my chances of selling and/or the sale price?

A: Low inventory has helped push up home prices and made for a competitive housing market. Certainly, the possibility of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in the fall could impact this—time will tell.

Warmer weather tends to bring out buyers who are looking for houses and will pay the best price, so you could miss out on initial opportunities. But don’t stress too much if you’re not ready to put your house on the market before summer ends. Buyers are constantly entering the market.

Q: What if the Charlestown apartment I want becomes available but my house hasn’t sold yet?

A: It may seem counterintuitive, but moving before you sell your house could be your best option. Living in your home while it’s on the market can be inconvenient. Keeping the house spotless at all times and leaving at a moment’s notice when your real estate agent calls with a buyer who wants to tour your house in an hour can be stressful.

It is also more difficult and costly to have updates and repairs like painting, carpet cleaning, or replacement performed while you’re still living there. Contractors charge extra for moving and protecting furniture.

Lastly, by vacating the property, your house is a clean slate where buyers can envision their family and furniture without the distractions of your personal belongings and style.

Q: What is the most important thing I can do to aid in a quick and successful home sale?

A: Price your house correctly. Together, your real estate agent and I can provide you with the research and facts you need to price your house both competitively and realistically. By using neighborhood comparables, appraisal services, and experience, we’ll be able to maximize your profits while selling your home in a reasonable time period.