For Seniors and Retirees your home could be one of the most valuable assets, and your last big chance to access cash for your later years. Therefore, selling your home at retirement age presents a different set of considerations than when you were younger. We provided some insights to the Surf Coast Times to help get you started on thinking about this next step.
Seek Specialised Real Estate Assistance
It is critical to find a real estate agent knowledgeable about the specialised needs of seniors. While the technical process of bringing a home to market doesn’t require a specialised skill set, having the experience and empathy to understand selling your family home in your later years. Your agent should be a human first, agent second, so look for someone who has experienced this personally with a parent, in-laws or close friends.
Speak with prospective agents about both their professional and personal experience to confirm that they have the right empathy and experience working with senior clients.
Know Your Home’s Current Value
Having lived in your home for many years, it is natural to be unsure of its current value. However, lack of knowledge about current prices could cause you to accept much less for your home than it is worth. You also might wait too long to accept a fair offer under the mistaken belief that a higher one may be around the corner.
To find out the current price for your home, so that you don’t lose out on a sale, review the comparative market analysis, or CMA, provided by your real estate agent. The CMA, compiled from data in your region’s multiple listing service, includes the most up-to-date information about homes in your neighborhood, similar to yours, that have sold.
One thing to consider is how recently the comparison properties have been sold. The current market is moving very fast and results from the past 3 months are not reflective of the market in late 2020/early 2021. In many instances agents are finding properties are selling far above the estimated range, not because of sales skill or the market but rather due to using outdated comparisons.
Pack Up Memories and Valuables
Selling your home presents an ideal time to sort through your belongings. “Decluttering,” a term used by real estate agents, means removing knick-knacks, excess furniture and family photos from your home before putting it on the market. Decluttering makes a house look spacious and helps potential buyers picture their belongings in the house rather than yours.
You may have accumulated many mementos through the years that you may wish to sell, giveaway to family members or donate before moving. While the house is on the market, keep items you wish to retain in storage. Valuables, medications and other personal items should be kept out of sight.
Target Your Best Buyer
Marketing costs for selling a home can vary considerably from agent to agent. These cost variations are based on the quality and quantity of marketing for your home rather than an individual agent cost. Agents are not legally able to charge for marketing beyond the cost to them. Marketing costs usually cover photos, floorplans, writing copy, listing your property on the online sites, printed brochures, videos and advertising in print or online.
In order to get the most interest and present your home at its highest value you will want to invest in marketing. Look for an agent who’s brand, photography and presentation matches the level of your home and is most likely to target your most engaged buyer.
There are many more considerations and decisions to be made when selling a home in today’s market, and it can be difficult for older homeowners to easily find this information to ensure they are informed and able to make the best decision for themselves.