By MARK SAMUELSON | [email protected] | Denver Post
PUBLISHED: April 27, 2018 at 5:37 pm
Jerry Wild spent a career handling complex switching gear for Ma Bell, and at 84 years old he can still tell you all about that job. But last year when he began having trouble with routine tasks, his kids hit the panic button and began looking for an alternative to his aging, two-story home.
When a call came that a unit at Wind Crest Highlands Ranch was open, Thom and Sonya Wild had just 45 days to get dad’s Centennial house ready for sale.
Thom and Sonya had friends who were real estate agents, but at Wind Crest’s recommendation they put in a call to Conrad Steller and the Steller Group.
Steller’s senior listing agent Blair Bryant and stager Carolyn Brake did a tour of Wild’s 1975 house in Highlands 460, noting that Wild and his wife Sue (she died in 2003) had done a good job of keeping up their roof, plumbing and other systems — but cosmetic issues needed to be dealt with.
“Many longtime homeowners we work with have kept their homes in immaculate condition, and all of their systems in perfect order, but haven’t updated their finishes in decades,” says Bryant. “But buyers today are willing to pay top-dollar if a home is turnkey.”
Steller’s team went to work, completing $7,000 worth of updates in 30 days, then staging the home for sale in a week. When the property went on the market, it sold in two days.“I was surprised how much they were asking for it,” says Thom Wild, who grew up in the house, oldest of four kids.
Bryant says those esthetic details — including a choice of colors to get rid of the dated look — likely made a $50,000 difference in the home’s contract price. The prep work included some quick decisions about what to do with a lifetime of furnishings, memorabilia and camping/fishing gear that wouldn’t fit into Wind Crest.“
My dad and mom were never hoarders,” says Thom Wild, but adds that every room had stuff and the garage was packed.
Steller recommended going the donation route rather than an estate sale (“A sale is tough when the seller is still in place,” adds Bryant).
Last week, Jerry Wild showed me his one-bedroom assisted-living apartment in Wind Crest by Erickson Living in western Highlands Ranch. He has a view of the Rockies and a display of early phone gear from Mountain Bell, where he started as an installer at age 16, then returned after a combat tour in Korea.
Daughter-in-law Sonya says Steller’s turnaround on the project “was amazing; we never could have done it without them.” In retrospect, she has advice for children of parents approaching the same situation: “It would have been easier if we had done it two years before.”
Conrad Steller says his team is even more effective if they’re involved earlier on, when the sellers have more time to decide about when-and-where to head. In addition to coordinating any pre-sale work (Steller has a fully licensed contractor on staff), his agents are experts on ranch and low-maintenance-living communities, including non-purchase options offering independent or assisted living.
Steller will take you on a complimentary tour of options in the south metro area on Tuesday, June 26, 9 a.m. to noon (it includes a light lunch and a Q-and-A; seating is limited).
Sooner still is a free seminar on “High-Yield Kitchen and Bath Improvements/The Power of Staging,” on Wednesday, May 23, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Southglenn Library, 6972 S. Vine St., Centennial. Sign up for either event at StellerRealEstate.com, email [email protected] or call 720-593-9355.