Making the decision to downsize is a big step. Whether the move is for health reasons, financial reasons, for less hassle, to be closer to family or simply to enjoy a new adventure; you’re ready for all the future holds. But can you say the same for your home? Be sure of it with these senior downsizing dos.
Senior Downsizing by the Numbers
Those downsizing are in good company because according to the Demand Institute, more than 40 percent of Americans ages 50 to 64 plan to move within the next five years. In fact, the Policy Center cites that boomers are expected to place some 26 million homes on the market by 2030.
While the housing landscape is unique to each area, this influx could affect the local market, meaning your home needs to be in top shape to compete particularly when inventory levels are high.
5 Tips for a Quick Home Sale
Try to take the emotion out of it and look at your home through the buyer’s eyes. Chances are the familiar squeaks in the floor, that door that never shut right and the marks on the wall from when the kids were little won’t be as heartwarming to others.
Tip #1 – Tackle Inexpensive Updates
Start small with a fresh coat of paint and updated lighting to freshen up the space. Even changing out dingy outlet covers and light switches can make a difference. It’s always best to go with neutral colors and fixtures to appeal to the widest group of buyers.
Tip #2 - Invest Where It Counts
You may not be able to give the whole house a makeover, and even if you could, the overall return on investment may not be worth it. But, there are key areas of the home where updates count the most according to HGTV.
- Kitchens: Here you can expect a 98.5 percent return on average for a minor remodel (cosmetic upgrades) and a 91 percent return for a complete remodel which would involve cosmetic as well as floor plan upgrades.
- Bathrooms: Minor remodels that include replacing the tub, tile surround, floor, toilet, sink, vanity and fixtures typically average a 102 percent return.
- Landscaping: This is a key to your home’s curb appeal and updates average a 100 percent return on your investment. What’s more, if you don’t have a green thumb yourself, many garden centers offer free design services.
- Exterior Updates: Also a key to curb appeal, when you update your front entry, siding and/or paint you can expect a 95.5 percent return on average.
Tip #3 - Declutter and Depersonalize
This is often a tough one as we’re all attached to our belongings. But in order for buyers to buy they have to be able to picture themselves living in the home and building their own memories. Seeing too many of yours can be distracting.
As you clean out closets and cabinets, clear off surfaces and remove personal photos/memorabilia consider that you need to do this anyway to downsize into a new space. Start by dividing items into categories such as: keep, donate, gift to family or friends and throw away or recycle. And remember, downsizing is more manageable, and more fun, with friends and family to help and reminisce.
Tip #4 – Stage Your House
First impressions do matter and to ensure you make the most of them with buyers engage all the sense in staging your home:
- Sight – Turn on the lights, open the drapes, fluff the pillows, have everything picked up and polished.
- Sound – Play music in the background.
- Scent – Use infusers and candles to create a sense of freshness and comfort.
- Touch – Make sure all surfaces are clean and dust free, and that décor has a range of textures.
- Taste – You often see home showings on television with cookies and snacks set out to entice buyers. It’s not a must, but a little hospitality never hurt.
Tip # 5 – Be Proactive
It’s smart to have your own inspection done before listing to uncover any issues you may be unaware of in the home. If any do come up, you can proactively address them to prevent the surprise thwarting a deal in the buyer’s inspection. Or, consider purchasing a one-year home warranty plan to cover repairs and replacement during the first year. This gives the buyer peace of mind, particularly when buying an older home.
Senior Downsizing Sanity Savers
There’s no avoiding it, listing your home for sale can cause some disruption in your day-to-day life. These tips may help you sell quicker, however it could be easiest to go ahead and move in to your next home to avoid living through the sales process.
If you don’t quite know yet where that new home will be, we can help there as well. Download our Staying Home vs. Moving to Senior Living Guide or schedule a tour of a community near you today!