What Seniors Should Consider When Selling Their Home
Aging in place doesn’t necessarily mean aging in the home that you have owned for most of your life. Sometimes the old homestead becomes more of a burden than it once was. Circumstances like health considerations, property maintenance requirements, or maybe a better climate can cause seniors to want to look for a new location to live out their golden years. There are some important factors to keep in mind when selling a home later in life.
Start With Sound Financial Advice
Getting sound financial advice is the starting point for seniors that are considering selling their home. Tax rules are complicated when it comes to capital gains or selling at a loss. Are you going to be able to deduct losses if it comes to that? Do you know how much you can exclude on any gain? A trusted tax professional should be consulted before placing your home on the market. Also understand that any money that is due to you from the sale of the home may not be available as quickly as you might hope. Be sure to plan accordingly if that becomes the case.
Seek Out a Reliable Agent
Almost anyone you talk to will know of several “great” real estate agents. Take their advice with a grain of salt and do your due diligence. Interview several agents. Seek an agent that has experience working in your area, selling the types of houses that you own. Ask if they have experience working with seniors. Ask for references and take the time to check those references out. The agent you choose to work with should be one of the 20,000 members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) who specialize in working with sellers and buyers and will represent your best interests. You might consider working with Brandon Stewart if you need an experienced reputable agent.
All of the little personal touches that made your home special to you; family photos, knick knacks, those hand-drawn pictures that the grandchildren created, etc., need to be removed, packed up, and stored somewhere other than in cartons stored around your home. You are not selling your possessions; you are selling your home. Removing personal items is important because it allows a potential buyer to visualize making your home their home. Remove any extra pieces of furniture that creates the impression that a room or area is cramped or small in size. You don’t have to throw things out or give them away. That’s what storage facilities are for.
Freshen Things Up
There always seems to be little things that you have put off repairing. Fixing small things like dripping faucets or cabinet doors that don’t close properly is important. Most buyers are not interested in buying a project. Consider a fresh coat of paint on walls of rooms that get the most use. Doing something as simple as replacing light switch and outlet covers or replacing burnt out light bulbs doesn’t require a major cash outlay, takes very little time and effort. And adds to the impression that your home is clean, fresh, and ready for a new family to move into. If you own any hand or portable power equipment, like a table saw, a portable work bench, or a portable generator, remove these also. They may be valuable, but they add to the sense of clutter. There may be nothing wrong with the furniture you have, but it may look dated. Rather than go to the expense of purchasing new pieces of furniture, consider hiring a staging company to set your home up to highlight and show off its best features. It is reported that homes that aren’t staged can sit on the market for an average of 143 days, while those that are professionally staged sell in as few as 23 days. And staging may boost your home’s value by up to 20%.
Hire a Moving Company
Let’s face it. You’re not as young as you used to be. All the stress and physical labor involved in packing things up and getting your possessions to your next home is hard work. Hiring a professional moving company makes good sense. These pros have all the supplies and equipment necessary for the job and they can accomplish in a few days what could possibly take you and your family several weeks. And since they are pros, there will be less of a chance of things getting damaged during the move.
Leave the Home During Showings
It’s not always convenient to leave when a buyer comes through, but it is the smart thing to do. Your agent is fully capable of answering any questions a buyer may have and it will be easier for the buyers to image living there if you are not sitting in the living room on the sofa.
When it comes time to sell, realize that everything takes time. Have faith in your agent and let them do the job you hired them to do. You're in good hands!