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Winter may just be getting started in the Mile High City, but if you’re considering cashing in on Denver’s white-hot seller’s market, it’s time to think spring. “March 1 is the date everyone keeps in their mind for spring selling season,” says Mitch Rothman, broker associate with Kentwood Real Estate. “But I advise my clients to try and get a head start on that if possible.”
That doesn’t leave a lot of time for major renovation projects, but in this market, Rothman says, less is more. “Think about curb appeal,” he says. “It’s where you get the most bang for your buck. When I drive my clients around, I always say, ‘If you don’t like it from the outside, we can just keep driving and cancel the showing.’”
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Here, Rothman shares a few small projects you can start now to entice potential buyers to stop and look this spring:
Start With The Front Door
Whether you’ve got a creaky old front door or a bland builder-grade model, updating your entry with a new door is a fairly easy upgrade that will make a big impact. “Literally, it’s the first thing the client touches, so you want it to make a great impression,” says Rothman, who has been showing homes in Denver for 15 years. Just be sure to choose one that complements your home’s architectural style. For properties with street-facing garages, Rothman also suggests updating the garage doors.
Fix Up The Facade
Small tweaks made to a property’s exterior can deliver big results. Rothman suggests adding architectural details to the front entrance: “For a Craftsman-style home, add wood. For a Tuscan style, maybe a stone veneer,” he says. For brick homes, tuckpointing—replacing damaged mortar between bricks—is a small-scale job that makes a home look well-maintained and improves its structural stability and moisture-resistance.
Add A Fresh Coat Of Paint
Now is the time to schedule a painter so that once the weather allows, the exterior and trim can get a fresh coat of paint. This update instantly yields great curb appeal, and will look great in marketing photos, too. While you’re at it, ask your painter to give interior baseboards a fresh coat as well. “You would be surprised at the difference fresh paint makes on the trim,” Rothman says. “It really makes it pop without repainting every room.”
Spruce Up Your Yard
“Obviously you can’t lay sod in the winter,” Rothman says, but you can consult with a landscape architect—or even a pro at your local nursery—about small changes that will help the home show well come spring. A few new plantings and flower pots can add significant texture and color. If nothing else, clean up debris, down to the very last leaf. A tidy yard suggests a tidy house.
Splurge On New Windows
If you’re willing to spend a bit more, Rothman recommends upgrading your home’s windows. “Buyers always notice new windows and it’s not really an area where personal taste comes into play,” he says. “Keep it neutral and you can’t go wrong. It’s not as sexy as updating a master bathroom, but that’s why buyers don’t want to do it either.”