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Accomplish your easiest move ever

Ten tips for preparing your house for the market now

Julia Collins
January 24, 2020

If you're thinking about selling your house and moving to a maintenance-free community like Cedar Crest, now's the time to take action.

According to real estate experts, now through summer is the busiest time in the real estate industry. And it all has to do with the school calendar.

"Whether we have children or not, most people prefer to move during summer months. So, when you consider marketing and settlement, many properties go on the market between February and May," says Anne Connor, a personal moving consultant at Cedar Crest in Pequannock Township, N.J.

"Buyers come out as early as January and February, and those are often the most serious buyers. The earlier you list your house, the better you can take advantage of a longer selling season, higher list price, and less competition," Connor adds. 

Is it already too late to get started? Not for those moving to Cedar Crest. Connor offers complimentary assistance to get their houses ready for the market, including downsizing, selection of a real estate agent, and recommendations for trusted moving companies and other related professionals. Her program is formally called Erickson Realty and Moving Services. 

"Regardless of their time frame, we're here to help people get their houses sold so they can start enjoying the Erickson lifestyle as soon as possible," she says.

Tips for a successful sale and easy move

1. Schedule a visit with Personal Moving Consultant Anne Connor to assess your house and see it with a buyer's eye. She'll help you identify problem areas that need to be repaired, like peeling paint, broken fixtures, and old carpeting.

She can also recommend trusted repair people to complete those projects.

2. Get organized. One of Connor's specialties is helping her clients decide what they'll bring to their new Cedar Crest apartment home and planning exactly where those items will fit using her magnetic floor plan and miniature furniture pieces.

By visualizing your new home, it's easier to part with unnecessary items that you may choose to gift, donate, or sell. 

3. Brighten up. Winter is the perfect time to repaint the interior of your house with light, lively neutral colors. 

4. Wash windows and repair screens. You may not notice film or fingerprints on your windows, but buyers will. And cleaning them will bring more light into your home. To repair screens, simply take them to a local hardware store. 

Not up for washing windows? Connor can recommend a local window washer, too.

5. Revamp your entryway. Real estate professionals agree, one of the best ways to win over buyers is with a stunning entryway. 

It's often an overlooked area of the home, because most homeowners enter their house from the garage or side door. But buyers will enter through the main entrance, so you have a grand opportunity to give a great first impression of your home's interior. 

Spruce up your entryway with a cute coat hook, throw rug, bench, or console table depending on the size and layout of your space. 

6. Refresh décor with inexpensive updates. Textiles like pillows, throws, duvet covers, and towels in bright white bring a lively, spring freshness to your space for a low cost. 

7. Kick smells to the curb. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open windows to air out your home. Diffusing essential oils like lemongrass, citronella, and rosemary can refresh your home with a clean scent.

8. Tidy up your yard. February may not win any gardening awards, but you can still have the best-looking yard on the block. 

Make sure leaves are raked and sticks picked up. If there's no snow on the ground, have fresh mulch laid. Choose dyed mulch so the color stays. Plant small evergreen shrubs in pots or urns and place at your front door. And make sure all gardening tools and yard waste is out of sight.

9. Lock up valuables, jewelry, and money. You will have potential buyers touring your house, so don't leave anything tempting out. Use a safe or safe-deposit box at your bank to store valuables. 

10. Set the right price. Your real estate agent can help you choose an appropriate list price, but Connor's advice can help you make an educated decision:

"Look at the closed sales for the past 90 days in a one-mile radius of your house. View houses comparable in style, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, property size, and upgrades. This should pinpoint your listing price," she says.

You'll also want to check out the current active homes on the market to get an idea of your competition and make sure your listing price is not over by much. "You can be under, as the other houses may never sell for the higher price. Your real estate agent can guide you," adds Connor.

How do you gain access to Connor and her trusted moving professionals? "Join the priority list so that we can schedule a home visit, look at floor plan options, and explore what works best for you," she says. "We can also work on downsizing and meeting our extended team of trusted real estate agents and downsizers so that you will feel confident to move forward when you're ready, whether that's now or ten months from now."

Cedar Crest currently has a very low inventory, so it's important to explore your options and know what will work for your lifestyle and needs. That way, you'll be ready to reserve when the right apartment home becomes available.