There are many reasons why older adults choose to sell their homes. Some may realize they have more space than they need to live comfortably. Others may be looking to move into a senior living community that better aligns with their post-retirement plans. No matter your reasoning for selling your home, there are certain actions you’ll want to take once you commit to the decision.
Here are some things to consider to make the process easier.
Planning Your Next Steps
The first thing you’ll want to do after deciding to sell your home is create a plan. Depending on your timeline for moving, you may have to adjust some dates. In an ideal scenario you would have six months (or more) to prepare your home for sale ahead of any type of move.
- Evaluate the market. You’ll need to consider whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market and manage your expectations, accordingly. In a seller’s market home prices tend to be higher and homes sell faster, which can translate to more money in your pocket sooner.
- Determine the best time to sell. It seems like everyone has different opinions on the best time to sell a home. Traditional wisdom — and at least one popular real estate website — recommends listing your home for sale in March, but no later than Labor Day.
- Start researching real estate agents. You don’t necessarily have to commit to a real estate agent until closer to when you’re ready to be on the market. But the earlier you start doing research and asking around, the better the odds you’ll find a good one.
You’ll also want to start thinking about how much work it will take to prepare your home for sale. That includes making necessary repairs and deciding if you are going to stage your home.
Preparing Your Home for Sale
The thought of preparing your home for sale may seem intimidating, but the amount of effort you put into getting your home ready before listing it on the market is often worth it. Depending on how many belongings you have, you will more than likely need to get rid of some things.
Downsizing Tips for Seniors
Some pro tips for downsizing ahead of a move include:
- Work through one room at a time. Some experts say to start with the easiest and/or smaller rooms first, but also consider the most logical path that works for you.
- Have a system in place. Sort your things into labeled containers to help determine what you want to keep, sell, donate or get rid of. Consider what you definitely want to keep and sort those things separately from the items that you are on the fence about.
- Enlist help from family and friends. While downsizing ahead of a move can be an emotional experience, they can help make the process easier and faster.
You should also take into account the total amount of space you will have available wherever you’re moving next to help you downsize, especially if it’s a noticeably smaller residence.
Make Necessary Home Repairs
Now is the time to schedule any home repairs you want or need to make before listing your home for sale. While the cost of home repairs can add up fast, they also can increase the resale value of your home. Focus on essential repairs first and then move on to other improvements.
Choosing a Real Estate Agent
Finding a real estate agent that’s right for you takes a little bit of effort, but if you do your research and ask around, you should be able to find someone you enjoy working with. You also want to find an agent with a strong knowledge of the local market to help maximize earnings.
Staging Your Home
Making your home more appealing to potential buyers is important in any market. According to the National Association of Realtors, 82% of buyers’ agents said “staging helped their clients visualize their property as a home.” Staging also tends to result in higher sale prices.
Key areas to focus on when staging your home are the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms and outdoor living spaces. Cleaning or replacing appliances so they look new and removing any personal items are two frequently recommended home-staging tips.
Discover a New Lifestyle at Newcastle Place
Many older adults sell their homes to move into a senior living community where they can pursue their favorite hobbies, meet new people and build or maintain a healthy lifestyle. At Newcastle Place in Mequon, Wisconsin, we’ll provide you with the resources to help you do all those things, and so much more. Contact us or complete the form below to learn more about our senior living community.