Getting Ready for Spring

New ideas and sensible tips that you can pass along to buyers and sellers as the spring selling season kicks in.

February 1, 2010

Living in the sometimes-frigid Chicago area, the REALTOR® Magazine staff follows a predictable pattern when we’re putting together the annual House & Home issue. As we’re writing and editing this special feature, we’re watching the icicles form on our eaves and getting our houses ready for holiday celebrations. By the time the issue comes out, we’re waiting longingly for the first snowdrops to bloom and counting the days until we can walk outside without the 10-minute coat closet delay.

Luckily, we’re on the road more than ever to get a feel for how real estate is practiced in different parts of the country—and we’re sharing that experience with you, not only in the magazine but through our online Masters Series.

Last year, we produced six “Masters” videos, covering business specialties ranging from auctions to second-home sales. This year, we’re focusing the series more narrowly on specific skills that are central to your success. To coincide with this House & Home issue, we visit with REALTOR® and home stager Mary Brooks, CRS, GRI, of RE/MAX Properties of the Summit in Breckenridge, Colo. Mary creates beautiful visions of home and hearth, often for out-of-towners with limited time and lots of choices. You’ll find all of our Masters Series videos at And later this year, a few of our masters will join us for live webinars, where they’ll offer a more in-depth look at what they do. Watch your e-mail, or follow @realtormag on Twitter, for specific dates and times.

After you watch the Masters Series videos, I encourage you to explore more thoroughly for other resources that’ll help your business today. For example, this month in our Real Life section, we share highlights of the new U.S. Treasury guidelines on short sales but you’ll always find a great collection of information on the topic, including the magazine’s free short sales webinars, at

In Law, we offer a brief look at the new Good Faith Estimate and HUD-1 forms (see page 39), but it’s well-worth the 90-plus minutes to play back the recorded NAR session, found at, with RESPA expert Phil Schulman.

If there’s one good thing about winter in Chicago, it’s that we really appreciate the warmer days of spring—as rainy (and sometimes snowy) as they may be! We hope that, as the spring selling season kicks in, this House & Home issue provides you with some new ideas and sensible tips that you can pass along to buyers and sellers.

Stacey Moncrieff

Stacey is executive editor of publications for the National Association of REALTORS® and editor in chief of REALTOR® Magazine.