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The keys to selling your house

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, March 20, 2014, at 6:37 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, March 22, 2014, at 11:23 a.m.

Spring is here, and the warm winds of change bring a fresh crop of houses for sale.

Will yours be one of them?

Wichita’s housing market could use more houses that are in good shape and don’t require any work for a homebuyer, local Realtors say. Bond money is available for first-time homebuyers (or those who haven’t bought in at least three years), and interest rates are still low.

“We have buyers that have that money, and they want to take advantage of it,” said Tammy Schmidt, a Realtor with Prudential Dinning Beard in Wichita.

Buyers also want to get a house before interest rates go up, said Heather Stewart, a Realtor with Coldwell Bankers Plaza.

Ranch homes priced from $125,000 to $500,000 “are still the No. 1 seller that everybody’s looking for,” said Scott Stremel of J.P. Weigand and Sons. “It meets most people’s needs, young or old.”

And Schmidt said people are looking for bigger lots.

“They’re tired of the cookie-cutter neighborhoods,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be five acres – they want some space so they can look out their window and not see in their neighbor’s bedroom.

“And an open floor plan is really big. A lot of people really desire it in a new home, or in a ’70s-style home (they ask): Can we remove a wall or make it more open? It’s better for family and for entertaining.”

A family with children usually wants more bedrooms even if they’re smaller, while someone without children usually prefers just a couple of bedrooms that are bigger, Stewart said.

The main thing people can do toward getting their houses sold is having them move-in ready, Stremel said. Buyers these days do not entertain thoughts about putting in new carpeting or repainting or refinishing a basement.

“People’s lives are very busy right now, and they want to be able to pick their stuff up from House A and move it to House B and pretty much move in and start living without doing any improvements. They don’t want to tackle those projects.

“They want that basement finished with two bedrooms, a bathroom and a family room done.”

If you’re considering putting your house on the market this spring or sometime soon, read the stories in this week’s Home & Garden section to find out how to get the house ready – whether you do it yourself or hire help.

Reach Annie Calovich at 316-268-6596 or acalovich@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @anniecalovich.

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