6 Things Seniors Should Know About Selling Their Home
Hire the Right Real Estate Professional
When you’re selling a house as a senior, your needs are often different than that of a typical seller — so it’s important to find the right real estate agent for the job. Make sure that the professional you hire to manage the process is well-versed in the buying and selling habits of older adults and knows the most recent trends for today’s market.
Finding a knowledgeable real estate agent you can trust can make a world of difference in your selling experience and help reduce the stress of the entire process as they help you prepare the listing for your home. To find a realtor who specifically serves seniors, try using the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) website to find someone who fits your needs.
Sell During the Winter
You might not be able to control the weather, but you can control the season you decide to sell. During the winter months, prospective homebuyers may be more motivated, serious — and best of all — ready to buy.
You may also have the benefit of having less competition during the winter downtime. In 2020 from October to December, 220,000 homes for sale dropped off the market. With less inventory to choose from, buyers may be less likely to negotiate the price down and pay closer to or above the asking price.
Set a General Timeline
As you get ready to sell your home, create a realistic timeline so that you can stay organized and ensure enough time to get everything done before closing. This should include refreshing your home, creating the listing, finding a new residence and moving. It’s recommended that you start planning your move at least two months ahead of the date you’ll actually be moving.
Declutter and “Stage” the House
When you make the decision to start preparing your home for potential buyers, it’s important to start sorting through your personal items and removing clutter. You can work with your real estate agent to determine how much staging — the process of adding decor, renting or rearranging furniture and altering a home to impress buyers — they recommend for your home. Because cleaning and staging can bottleneck the process of getting pictures of your home listed online, you should get started as early as possible.
Although some people decide against staging due to the associated costs, it can help increase your odds of selling quicker. More than 80% of buyers’ agents said staging made it easier for a buyer to picture themselves living in the home, and 23% reported a 1% to 5% increase in a price offer compared to similar homes that were not staged.
Decide If You Need to Make Any Improvements to Your Home
Again, this is a great place for your real estate agent to step in and provide recommended guidance, since they’ll know what local buyers are looking for. Sometimes it isn’t worth the time and effort it takes to remodel if you’re only going to break even on the selling price. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint, new carpet and refreshed landscape are all you’ll need to impress potential buyers.
Gather the Necessary Paperwork to Close
Before you receive an offer, make sure to prep and organize all the essential documents associated with your home to help expedite the process when closing. The last thing you want to do is delay the buyers because you have to track down records.
Some of the documents that you may need include:
- Original sale contract
- Mortgage documents
- Tax records
- Homeowners insurance records
- Home inspection report
- Listing agreement
Selling a house can be a lot of work, but moving to a senior living community doesn’t have to be. Here are several tips to help ease into the transition of senior living.
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