Guest article from leavethekey.com
Selling a home is always a huge stress, and for seniors it can be even more stressful. In many situations, seniors are faced with selling their home to ease their money situation during retirement, to downsize the size of the home and its upkeep, or they may be eager to move to a warmer climate that may be better for any health issues they may have. Whatever the reason for selling a home, seniors are a unique demographic in the real estate market.
The real estate market is full of new homes, older homes, those homes that need a bit of sprucing up, and those homes that seem fit to be in a magazine. Seniors tend to live in the same home for longer periods of time than the average homeowners, so when it comes time for seniors to sell a home, it often needs some upgrades/updates to fit in with the current market trends. There are several tips that seniors can use to get their home sold, so they can continue on with their plans.
While selling a home is often full of open houses, showings, offers being rejected and rewritten, and a lot of time being spent waiting, seniors are often in the situation in which they want their home sold as soon as possible. That is where these tips can be of help!
1. Declutter now and put items into storage if needed
There is nothing more dissatisfying for buyers than to walk into a home full of clutter that makes it impossible to see the bones of the home. For seniors, especially those who have lived in their home for many years, the clutter may be a real issue. The best advice is to clean out the clutter now! Many people opt to get storage units for the month or longer while their home is on the market to store those items from their home. There is a better chance of getting the home sold sooner when it has clean and minimalist decor during an open house.
Keep in mind that you may have to have these items in storage for several months while you wait for the home to sell. However, with clutter present in the home, you may find it harder to get it sold, resulting in a home that sits on the market for months or even years and won’t command top dollar.
2. Work with a real estate agent
You don’t want to tackle a DIY sale. Why is this? It makes you responsible for everything, and it can make the entire process 10 times more stressful. Instead, work with a real estate agent that comes highly recommended from the area. Look at what homes have sold in the area and who sold them. It shows that they know how to get a home sold in the area and should be able to replicate the results for you.
Be careful with whom you trust, as seniors are a demographic that get taken advantage of. If you ever have a concern, be sure to check with a trusted friend or family member to ensure things are what they seem to be and it is always a good habit to ask for references that you can speak to personally.
3. Make small repairs where needed
One of the biggest obstacles for seniors who are selling homes is that buyers may consider these homes a “fixer upper.” However, those small things in the home that you may have put off should be on a list of things to do before you sell. For example, replace a leaking faucet in the bathroom or even patch a hole in the drywall where something was once hanging. These are small repairs, but they can be one aspect that deters buyers.
Seniors may have to budget for these small repairs, especially if they’re living on a restricted income. Asking the family to help with these small repairs is also an option for those who want their home in the best shape possible before hitting the market. But remember that if you’re making updates, try and do things that will help make the home marketable to the target buyer for the area.
4. Curb appeal needs to be up to par
For seniors, getting the curb appeal up to where it gets people interested can be a hardship as it often requires hiring someone to do more physical work that a senior may not be capable of performing. Consider hiring a company to come in and trim back bushes, trees, and other landscaping that will ensure a neater appearance. When a home looks great from the curb, people are more interested in what could be on the inside. This will also be an investment of money and time on your end. While it may seem like a small issue, curb appeal has a major impact on buyers’ opinions of your home.
5. Sell your home as is
One of the easiest ways to get your home sold and not have to worry about doing much on your end is to sell a home as is. There are companies that buy houses for cash, and they are unconcerned with the state they are in. These companies don’t care whether the home needs small repairs, large repairs, or major updates to make the home sell for top dollar. For some seniors, they find this to be the easiest option to get their home sold in record time since these companies don’t go through the drawn out homebuying process the average buyer goes through – no mortgages, no inspections, etc.
If you have a motivation to sell quickly and aren’t concerned about getting the absolute top dollar for the home, this is likely the fastest way to get on with your plans of moving to a new location. This is an ideal solution for homes that are outdated or in need of repair. Take the time to look at companies that buy houses in the area to determine if this is a good option for you. You can schedule a home visit to get an idea of what these investors are willing to pay.
6. Prepare for the emotions of selling a home
Whether you decide to list the home on the market with a realtor or sell the home as is to an investor, your emotions will be high. This may have been the family home that you raised your kids in and saying goodbye can be hard. It is important that seniors remember why they’re selling and how this will benefit them in the long run. Keeping these thoughts in mind helps to ensure that you are selling your home with no regrets.
These selling tips for seniors are a great way to get rid of your home and prepare you to make your next move. Take the time to figure out if you are ready to sell and then utilize these tips to make the most of the selling process.
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