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Get ready for the spring selling season

Tips and tools from one of the area’s top professionals

Created date

March 24th, 2014
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There’s still a nip in the air, but the spring selling season is already in high gear. If you want to sell your house this year, here are several tips from Personal Moving Consultant Beth Brandenburg to help you get your house ship-shape for the spring selling season. 

Brandenburg works with individuals and couples moving to Crest, the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo., to help them find trusted real estate agents and moving professionals, prepare their house for the market, and plan moving into their new apartment home at Wind Crest.  

Q: When does the spring real estate season kick into high gear?

Brandenburg: The spring season for real estate tends to start in March and run through May. We are very dependent on weather in that a cold or snowy spring can mean a delay, while a dry or warmer-than-usual spring can make the season start as early as the end of January. It is best to anticipate the season as early as mid-February to March 1.  With real estate inventory at an all-time low, coupled with high demand and low interest rates, getting a jump on the competition is a viable strategy. April and May tend to be very high-activity months.

Q: If it’s already April and you are just now deciding to put your house on the market, what is the best way to prepare quickly? How should you prioritize?

Brandenburg: If you need to get your house on the market right away in the spring, you should consider decluttering, cleaning, and adding fresh paint to interior walls and maybe even your exterior. Tidy up your front yard and clean up winter debris. 

To prioritize, start outside the front door and walk into your home just as a buyer would. People always gravitate toward the kitchen. What you see in the first 90 seconds makes the biggest impact on potential buyers. That is your priority.

Q: What are some big-ticket items you should consider revamping when prepping your house for the market?

Brandenburg: First and foremost, make sure all of the major systems are working and up to speed. This includes HVAC, plumbing, electrical, roof, water heater, and appliances. Each of these items has a different life expectancy. The age and condition of these items will impact home valuation for the buyer and appraiser. Lenders will also require some of these items to be addressed to approve the loan. 

I often suggest sellers consider obtaining a professional home inspection to identify any problems that they may not be aware of to eliminate surprises once the buyers conduct their inspection. 

Q: What are some smaller, less expensive repairs or updates you can do that make a big difference?

Brandenburg: Staging and decluttering are first and foremost. But don’t forget that a deep clean and cosmetic updates make a big difference and don’t break the bank. These include replacing old or worn-out carpet, or having it professionally cleaned if it doesn’t need to be replaced. Update stainless-steel appliances, add a fresh coat of paint to neutralize and brighten walls, and replace brass fixtures with brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze. 

If you want to prioritize, the best money spent in any home is on the kitchen and bathrooms. Caulking bathtubs, showers, and backsplashes is inexpensive and gives those areas a fresh look. And don’t forget to clean windows inside and out. 

Working with a personal moving consultant, like me, or a real estate agent can help determine which repairs or improvements will be most important.

Q: Let’s not forget about curb appeal. What are some of the major items outside you should consider when prepping your house for the market?

Brandenburg: Your house, not the landscaping, should be the focal point, so don’t go overboard. That being said, an attractive house from the outside preps the buyer for good things to come and sets a positive mood.

If you have paint chipping on the exterior, then you should definitely repaint; touching up here and there won’t do it. If your driveway and/or walkway are cracked and heaved, consider getting them either fixed or replaced. Also, make sure your door hardware matches your light fixtures on the front of the home. The little things go a long way.

During good weather, flowers, manicured lawns, clean sidewalks and driveways, and a well-staged front patio and deck are inexpensive and improve value.  If you have pets, make sure the yard is picked up and no odor confronts buyers inside the house.

Q: Is there anything else you think is vitally important when preparing your house for the spring selling season?

Brandenburg: All of these points we have talked about require the one most important component: pricing. Make sure your house is competitive with the other homes buyers are seeing.  If they don’t feel the house is competitively priced, it’s a hard obstacle to overcome. 

Q: What are some resources available to Wind Crest priority list members to help them accomplish these tasks?

Brandenburg: Despite all of these suggestions, not every piece of advice applies to everyone. Make sure you are using professionals when selling your greatest asset. From cleaners and stagers to electricians and contractors and even your real estate professional, make sure to convey your vision so that they can answer your questions and guide you to a successful sale.

That’s where I come in. As a personal moving consultant for people moving to Wind Crest, I help them choose those trusted professionals. Additionally, I provide a fresh set of eyes to help them make decisions when downsizing or staging their house. 

Everyone needs something different when preparing their house for the market, and I will come up with a plan specific to you. I also do furniture planning for everyone who moves to Wind Crest. 

Best yet, all of my services are complimentary to Wind Crest priority list members, so you can focus on getting your house sold and moving here to start enjoying your life at Wind Crest.

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