New year, new goals

Resolve to get your house ready now to sell this spring

Created date

December 19th, 2019
A woman vacuums her floor, getting the space ready for visitors and prospective buyers.

A clean home is a home that's ready to sell.

The ball has dropped, the holiday decorations are put away, and although the weather outside is still freezing, if you’re thinking of moving to a continuing care retirement community, now is the time to begin preparing your house for the spring real estate market.  

An easy way to start is by joining the priority list at an Erickson Living-managed community. For a fully refundable $1000 deposit, your priority list membership keeps you connected with the community and holds your place in line for your desired floor plan style. If the apartment home you selected is ready before you are, you're given first right of refusal with no change to your membership status. 

Erickson Realty and Moving Services, a program available to priority list members and anyone moving to the Catonsville, Md. community, is the best way to develop a game plan. It includes access to a personal moving consultant who provides trusted realty and moving resources, plus advice and assistance with coordinating every aspect of your move. 

Charlestown’s Personal Moving Consultant Vera Ballard shares her insight on how to get ahead of the spring market by starting now and saying "yes" to help.

“Preparing your house to sell this spring starts long before the flowers bloom,” says Ballard. “By getting a jumpstart now while the weather is still cold, you have plenty of time to make repairs and declutter before the prime selling season kicks in.”   

Think like a buyer

The first step Ballard recommends to prospective Charlestown residents is to get into the mindset of a home buyer, not a homeowner. 

“It’s important for buyers to be able to see themselves living in your house, and the best way to achieve that is to make it as neutral as possible,” she says. “Begin by decluttering and removing personal items like family photos. Set a goal to clean out one closet each week. Determine what needs to be cleaned, painted, and repaired on the exterior and make a to-do list to tackle when the weather gets a little warmer.” 

Ballard says cosmetic updates often have the biggest impact and can increase your market value.

“The saying, ‘You only get one chance to make a first impression,’ is 100% accurate when it comes to selling your home. Buyers make up their minds about your house within the first 60 seconds of entering. If it doesn’t make a positive impression, they’ll move on.”

Painting and flooring are the two most frequent updates Ballard suggests to her clients to help sell their home. Removing wallpaper, painting neutral colors throughout, exposing hardwood floors, and replacing worn carpet pays off in the long run. 

Develop a game plan

To determine exactly which updates will benefit you the most, Ballard invites prospective residents to schedule an in-home appointment with her. 

“I’ll strategize with you to develop a personalized selling plan that will set you up for success,” says Ballard. “In that plan, we will discuss what repairs need to be made and resources to assist with those repairs. I’ll refer a local real estate agent to provide a market analysis to determine what your house can sell for in today’s market. I will also provide home staging resources to help downsize, organize, and declutter so that you can put the best product on the market. 

“The thought of selling your house can be confusing and overwhelming,” she says. “The good news is you don’t have to go it alone. Give us a call and let us show you how moving to Charlestown is a very doable thing.” 

Ready to get your house ready for the spring market? Here’s a checklist of some basic home-selling rules to get you started: 

Don’t distract. Buyers need to be able to visualize themselves living in your house, not distracted by your personal belongings. Remove all family photos, collectibles, souvenirs, and personalized items from your home, including from your front porch and yard. 

Open up. Make your rooms appear as large as possible by removing unnecessary furniture and clutter. Be sure to clean out closets, basements, garages, and attics to make them appear spacious and showcase their potential.

Repair and update. Remove wallpaper and give walls a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint. Replace worn or stained carpet and flooring, and swap heavy drapes with light-filtering sheers or blinds. Make sure all light fixtures, both inside and out, are working properly. Try freshening up your bedroom with new bedding.

Keep it clean. Give bathrooms a deep scrub. Clean all windows, carpets, baseboards, and curtains, and don’t forget the fridge, freezer, and oven. Pay special attention to pet and smoke odors. Empty trash cans daily. And get in the habit of making your bed every day.