Timing It Right

Timing it right: In a cold January, market turns hot for a couple making move to a senior community

Timing it right: In a cold January, market turns hot for a couple making move to a senior communityOn a weekend when virtually everybody is shoveling snow, Arvada residents Steve and Dian Frank won’t have to pick up a shovel ever again now that they sold their home in a single day after listing it last week.

“For the last five months the market has run slow, but in January it often turns hot, and sure enough, it has,” says Blair Bryant, a broker with The Steller Group Senior Solutions, who handled the sale for the couple.

Getting a prompt sale can be super important to sellers like the Franks, who are making a move to senior living after 22 years in the same home. The couple started shopping a year and a half ago, and put their names on a preference list for Wind Crest Senior Living in Highlands Ranch, close to where they have a son and daughter-in-law, and a three-year-old granddaughter.

“We wanted to be closer to her and we did not want to have to shovel snow anymore,” said Steve Frank last week, as the pair was settling into their new, low-maintenance home.

But timing a move like that was critical, says Bryant. “Nicer apartments in senior living communities are in short supply, just as homes are; and when one comes available, we need to have all the pieces fall into place right away.”

Bryant adds that a couple coming out of a single-family home usually has specific features they’re wanting before they’ll commit to a move. For the Franks, that included a ground-floor unit with an open feel, in a two-bedroom-plus-den layout (they’re extra scarce, says Dian Frank).

The couple made numbers of trips to Wind Crest, visiting with residents they had met to get a better sense of what would feel right. Meanwhile, as they waited for the perfect unit to come available, the Franks searched other options such as patio homes in the area.

“It was weird,” recalls Dian Frank. “There’s not much out there.” That perfect plan finally showed up two months ago, after friends at Wind Crest tipped them off to one coming available.

Steve Frank says that they felt no pressure from Wind Crest to move right away. “But we knew they would not hold the unit forever while we diddled around,” he says now. On a recommendation from Wind Crest, the couple reached out to The Steller Group.

Early last week, Bryant met the couple at the house and surveyed how much stuff they had that would need to disappear before showing it to potential buyers. “It’s a big ranch and they had lots of stuff,” says Bryant. The Franks did a quick sort of what they could part with, and on Wednesday Steller’s recycling contractor came and hauled away a truckload. By Thursday, Steller had the home cleaned, staged, and inside photos taken.

The home went live on the market on Friday the 13th—and was under contract the next day.

Recalling their many moves fifty years ago when Steve was a Navy flyer, the couple marvels now at how smoothly this all went, going from 5,000 square feet into a home just a little larger than some of the small houses they had bought early in their marriage.

“You can’t beat experience,” says Steve Frank, crediting Blair Bryant and Steller for the favorable outcome.

“Everybody has been anticipating a challenging market, but the truth is, this is shaping up as a good time to sell,” Bryant says. He notes that homes are continuing to fetch around 15% more than at the top of the pre-pandemic market.

Steve and Dian Frank of the West Woods area of Arvada saw their 22-year-old ranch sell in a single day, when an opening at a senior living community came available.

-Courtesy of The Denver Post’s Mark Samuelson

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