A hot market? Heading into the best sales months, senior move experts say you need to get ready now

National news can give you the idea that higher interest rates are slowing the housing market this spring. But that’s definitely not the case if you have a single-family home to sell in any nice, suburban Denver neighborhood—something Judy and John Kary found out two weeks ago.

The Karys’ 3,200-foot two-story story in South Jeffco’s Chatfield area went on the market Jan. 26 and by the next day had multiple offers, one of them set to close this weekend. The Karys, meanwhile, were settling into their new luxury low-maintenance apartment in Wind Crest in Highlands Ranch, with a view of distant downtown. 

“These months coming into spring are always the hottest in the calendar year,” says Blair Bryant with The Steller Group’s Senior Solutions Division. These agents handled the Karys’ fast-paced sale and their move into the new community.

“Inventory is still very low,” Bryant adds, “and families with kids are urgently looking for situations that many senior-aged sellers are holding onto, waiting for a perfect moment to go to market.”

Judy and John are each in good shape and are a rare pair of seniors who enjoyed being in a 2-story house with stairs to climb. “I’ll miss it,” says Judy, who finished her career in education as a principal and later as superintendent for Sheridan School District.

“We would probably climb 20 flights a day; it’s good for you.”

Nonetheless, Judy didn’t like John climbing a 24-foot ladder to clean the gutters and was ready to declutter all the “stuff” that had accumulated from four decades of marriage, rather than leaving that task to their two daughters.

“We know people who have waited until too late,” says John Kary, a skilled cabinet maker, who still picks up his tools sometimes for special projects.

In 2017 the pair started visiting senior communities and put their names on a waiting list at Wind Crest; but didn’t pick out a unit until this past October.

That’s when the couple met Blair Bryant—and sat in on a free seminar about senior moves. (Steller has two of those coming up this month.)

“When the right home comes along in a market where those are in short supply, all the moving parts of selling your old place have to come together quickly,” says Bryant.

He helped Judy and John find contractors to help rid the clutter, and to make a few improvements to ready the home for staging. 

“That was a short list in this early spring market,” said Bryant. “Last fall, it would have been a longer list and more expensive.”

“He lined up everything; we didn’t have to do the organization” recalls Judy. The downsize— from 3,200 sq. feet to 1,200—went smoothly despite a short time frame.

“Everything found a home,” Judy adds, while recalling a line she heard at Steller’s seminar: “Call up your adult children to come get their stuff.”

While the home sold overnight, the pair settled into Wind Crest. In two weeks they’ve already been to three parties, Judy is joining a chorale, and John is checking out a golf group. “We regret not coming here earlier,” John says.

- Written by Mark Samuelson and The Denver Post

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