Prep to Sell

Selling your home doesn′t just mean posting a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible. And a fresh set of eyes will help you see things you may be missing. It’s almost never too early to call in a professional for advice on this.

Here are a few things to consider.

Repairs. Just because you’ve gotten used to cracks in the walls or rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will be ok with it. Plus, when you sign a contract you’ll be responsible for disclosing any material defects with your place. So, no, you can’t just hope they won’t notice. Do a walk-through of your house and make a list of any and all potential repairs. Prioritize the list according to urgency, budget and your local market.

Improvements. You might also decide to make an improvement or two during this period. It’s a wonder what a fresh coat of paint will do for almost any space. A landscaping spruce-up, even just fresh mulch or new flowers, is usually worth it.

Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. Remove collectibles and personal photographs, and replace bold color choices with a neutral palette. “Greige” is the new beige, and whites work well on walls. Don’t forget occasional pops of color for interest. Repainting is relatively cheap and hugely impactful. Refinishing the floors or adding new carpet will also go miles in improving your appeal to buyers.

Purge/Declutter. Do you plan to sell your occupied home? Buyers should see the property, not your stuff. Make sure to remove unnecessary belongings, clear your space wherever possible, and tidy up. Here’s a good time to call in professional help, to give you a fresh set of eyes on your space, advice on what to do, and help with the actual labor of getting things done if needed.

Stage. Once improvements and repairs are made and spaces cleared, it’s time to play dress up. You might be able to work with your existing furniture if its appealing to the market. Most likely at least a few edits will be needed — décor touches to bring out the possibilities in the various areas in your home, maybe a few new pieces here or there to create an appealing environment.

Downsizing for Seniors

Your House and Retirement — The Downsizing Option

Equity, or the value of your house after the mortgage is paid off, is a source of wealth that can be used as a reserve to help fund expenses in retirement. Downsizing, by moving from your larger home to a smaller and less expensive place, helps to “right-size” both the physical space of the house and reduce financial burdens of owning a larger home.  

Why Move?

If you’re in the right house, it may make the most sense to stay. Aging in place has its advantages — and of course it costs money to move — so if expenses are manageable and the house is comfortable “for the duration,” as my mom likes to say, this can be a great option. And one can still access equity with a reverse mortgage or home equity loan. (LINK) 

The Cost of Owning

However, while home owning is often the greatest store of wealth, it’s also one of the largest expenses. Taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance and repairs add up.

Downsizing can be a crucial move to free up capital, increase savings and allow you to live a more comfortable (and even more fun!) lifestyle as you grow older.

from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Fact: Only 17% of Americans over 55 say they’re confident they’ll have enough to live on in retirement

Downsizing Can Offer

One-level living, better flow and features 

Fewer rooms to clean and take care of

Neighborhood suited to your lifestyle, access to your preferred amenities such as shops, restaurants, medical facilities, and/or closer to family

Home equity funds to reduce debt and/or reinvest for retirement

Free up funds for education, grandchildren, travel, charity — et cetera!

Reserve funds for health care costs

Option to delay Social Security payout, up to age 70

New lifestyle, new chapter!

In a Seller’s market, a great price on your house!

The Sooner You Move, the More You Save

Moving is never easy, especially if you’ve lived in the same house for a long time.

It will likely get more difficult with age, both physically and socially.

The sooner you downsize, the greater positive long-term effect it will have on your savings and expenses.

But I’ve Been in this House Forever. What About All My Stuff?

Moving is a big job, but you don’t have to take it on alone! With the help of a good Realtor, with a network of experienced and qualified professionals, you can get through this process.

Decluttering for Retirement: Consider the possibility — you could probably do without a lot of the stuff you own, and you may be surprised at how freeing it feels when you start letting it go.

Need Another Reason to Consider Selling? 

With high demand and low inventory, it’s a Seller’s market. Real estate prices in Denver are at an all-time high.

Interest rates are going up this year, and prices are expected to slow appreciation and/or stabilize this year.

Find out how much you could save with downsizing. Here’s a calculator.

What’s your home worth? Contact Jess for a complimentary valuation of your home.

If you’re considering downsizing, it’s time to start planning. Let’s get started! 

Spruce Your Home This Spring

Spring is the perfect time of the year to freshen your home and give it a seasonal upgrade that will not only boost your mood, but create a more welcoming environment for others.

A spring spruce-up doesn’t need to be a daunting task. To help with the transition, I have included eight simple home decor ideas and strategies below to get your home ‘spring-ified’ in no time – Enjoy!

1. Declutter & Purge

It sounds cliche, but ‘spring cleaning’ is a must. I’m a big fan of decluttering — and think this should be a year-round task done frequently around the home (though my husband doesn’t always agree). Spring is an especially great time to do a big clean of your home, get rid of unwanted items, and organize odds and ends. Decluttering “clears the chi” and allows for improved communication and less stress at home and in your life as a whole.

Not sure where to start with your decluttering project? This article via Becoming Minimalist has some out of the box tips for easily decluttering your home: 10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home.

2. Clean Your Rugs

I’m always amazed by how much dirt and dander rugs hold, even if they are vacuumed regularly. Not only can dirty rugs provoke allergies and respiratory issues, but they add unwanted odors to the home and make the environment feel messy.

For the simplest approach, I like to beat and hang the smaller rugs outdoors for an instant dose of freshness. For a deeper clean, you can shampoo or steam clean your carpets. Of course you can always call a professional carpet cleaning service to deep clean, treat stains and make repairs.

3. Give Your Windows A Good Clean

Windows collect dust and grime over time, and while you may not notice, your visitors will. Let the light shine in and make your place more inviting by cleaning the windows.

The simplest way to allow more light into your home is to clean all of the windows. Here’s a handy how-to video using inexpensive materials. What else are you going to do this weekend?

4. Fresh Flowers

Whether you have a yard, a front porch, or a balcony, flowers brighten up any space instantly. A vase of flowers to your dining table or a cheery potted plant provide color and visual point of interest.

5. Incorporate Splashes Of Color

If your home has predominantly neutral and solid colors, it’s easy to give the overall ambiance a splash of color. The aforementioned flowers will do the trick, or you can play with colorful throw pillows, blankets, decorative ceramics, even a wild door mat to your entryway.

For inspiration, here are 11 Spring Color Palettes You Can Use Year Round.

6. Change Up The Wreath On Your Front Door

Wreaths can be used year-round, not just during the holidays. A fresh wreath mirrors the seasons and makes for a welcoming accessory that instantly invites people into your home.

 This Pinterest board has an incredible lineup of lively and beautiful wreaths for any season and occasion.

7. Placemats And Table Runners

Adding color with accessories like placemats and table runners is a quick and easy way to make a seasonal upgrade. In the winter months, I like to use metallic or silver colorings for my tables, but come spring/summer I switch to florals and colors. It brightens the mood and makes my home more inviting for brunch or dinner party guests.

8. Switch Out Your Bed Linens

Warmer weather will mean you might have to switch out your heavier bed linens to lighter ones to stay comfortable and cool at night. While you’re at it, why not opt for lighter and brighter colors to match the mood of the season?

In our home, we have beautiful bed linens from India that are so light and wonderful. It is always such a pleasure in the springtime to get these out and put them to use! I recently found an Indian vendor on Amazon – they don’t have the quilts but they have nice table cloths and sheets at reasonable prices.

So there you have it! I hope you gained some inspiration on ways to brighten up your home this season.