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From Our Sponsors: Merit Co. Real Estate, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Thinking of Selling? Why Now is the Time

Thinking of selling your home? It's time to buy a new welcome mat, get a comparative market analysis and take immediate steps to get your property in front of Pikes Peak buyers. There never has been a better time.

While sales of existing homes lost some momentum in the first quarter of 2014, there are strong "big picture" reasons why someone with a home to sell in the Colorado Springs area should act now.

"It's a great time to sell," says Kerry Brill, president and chief executive officer of Merit Co. Real Estate in Colorado Springs, the oldest and largest independent full-service company in the Pikes Peak region. "The economic signs are there. As important, qualified buyers have their feet on the ground and are poised to act when they see what they want. We're writing more contracts, we're closing more homes, and we see that trend continuing."

Among the positive indicators:

- 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rates fell to a seven-month low in late May and remain near historic lows.

"Low interest rates create more buyers at every level," Brill says. With mortgages more affordable, buyers who have put off purchasing because of concerns about the economy will be back in force.

- Prices on homes in the Colorado Springs area have strengthened. "Prices are up 5 to 7 percent over last summer," Brill says. "Sellers are a lot happier about offers they are receiving, relative to the asking price. And buyers are focused and realistic. They know they can't drag their feet when it comes to a house they love."

- Inventory is down. That means more competition for a desired property, higher prices and multiple offers. Well-priced, well-maintained properties are attracting multiple bids, Brill says. "Sellers benefit when buyers compete," he says.

When sellers wait for a market to "get hot" before listing a house, they can miss out, says Brill. "Sellers who act decisively to list a house have an edge," he says. "Instead of fighting for attention in a sea of listings, their property can be positioned and promoted to draw the maximum attention and multiple bids. That's the goal."

Selling a home efficiently and getting maximum value is a great prelude for the next item on the smart seller's To Do list: buying a new home while interest rates remain low. "Whether you're contemplating downsizing for retirement or trading up to a more spacious or luxurious home, having cash in hand from a sale puts a buyer in the strongest possible position," Brill says. "It's where you want to be."

Serious about selling? Brill offers these three tips to get your sale on the fast track:

- Find a real estate agent you trust. "This is one of the biggest transactions in your life," Brill says. "Find someone you like who has significant experience selling homes in your area."

- Heed your agent's advice on price. "A real estate professional can help you set aside the emotions involved in selling a home and instead focus on how to get the best results for your property in your market," says Brill.

- Act on your agent's tips for preparing the house for sale. This is no time for a costly remodel. Take objective advice about improving your home's appearance, make a punch list and get it done. "Houses that are immaculately clean and in good repair sell more quickly, it's that simple," Brill says.

This article was produced for and sponsored by Merit Co. Real Estate, Colorado Springs, Colo. It is not a product of or affiliated with KOAA News 5.

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