Home sizes, and prices, have skyrocketed over the years, leaving many retirees with more ‘house’ than they need.
Downsizing is one of the best ways to reach financial goals later in life. Here are five downsizing tips to help you make the transition into a smaller home.
1. Enlist Family Support
When downsizing a large home, it’s important to start the decluttering process early. Ask family members for help sorting old items and furniture you no longer want.
Family heirlooms won’t need to be donated if a close relative will take them instead. Giving away belongings to your family will help you through the emotional part of the downsizing process.
Knowing your possessions will go to people you love can help you find peace in letting go.
2. Hire an Agent
Once you’ve decluttered your space, set up a meeting with a real estate agent in your area. One of the best ways to find a reliable agent is by asking friends and family for referrals.
Friends or neighbors who recently downsized will have leads on attentive real estate agents who understand your specific needs. Another way to find a real estate agent is to connect with a relocation specialist.
These professionals can refer you to realtors in your area and potentially help you navigate the relocation process if you’re moving to a new state.
If possible, choose a realtor with a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SERS) certification to help you sell your home. These realtors are experienced in working with older clients and are more likely to be sensitive to your need to downsize.
3. Schedule Charity Pickups
Once you’ve given away important items to your family, you can work with your realtor to decide which furniture will work best for staging. Any items that don’t help market your home can be taken to storage or donated to charity.
Many charities offer a pickup service for furniture. Call to confirm available dates well in advance of needing pickup.
Charity organizations’ resources are usually limited, which can mean waiting weeks before they have the availability to pickup your items.
4. Stage Your Home
Staging your home is an essential part of the sales process. Experienced realtors can share insight into making your home look attractive to potential buyers.
This process usually won’t require major changes to the design of your home. Instead, staging removes anything that could distract a buyer from seeing the best features of your home.
Less is more with home staging because it allows the home’s architecture to speak for itself. Minor repairs, like a fresh coat of paint or trimming the hedges, might also be needed to make your home look more attractive.
5. Schedule Your Move
The final step in the downsizing process is finding quality movers. Schedule your movers to transport your remaining furniture and items to your new home.
Pack items separately in an essentials box that you will need right away after the move. These are items like toiletries and medication that shouldn’t be inaccessible in case the movers arrive later than you do.
The Best Downsizing Tips
Downsizing tips help you navigate the emotional process of leaving behind your home and many of your belongings. After years of use, it’s not uncommon to feel bittersweet after giving away your favorite furniture or dishes.
But the money you’ll save with lower housing costs means having access to new experiences that will soon surpass the old ones. For more information on preparing for your move, visit our blog for updates.