The real estate market is hot right now, with soaring home costs and massive growth across most neighborhoods in the United States. Even a small starter house may now be worth much more than you paid for it. Housing prices increased by nearly 50% between 2010 and 2020 and continue to grow. That’s great news if you are planning to sell your house.
Getting your home ready to sell is one of the biggest items to check off of your to-do list before moving to a HumanGood Life Plan Community. It’s also an opportunity to turn a significant profit, but only if you're fully prepared.
These tips for selling your home can make the process as pain-free as possible while optimizing the potential value of the sale.
Find the right real estate agent.
A real estate agent handles all of the promotion, paperwork, negotiations and other challenging aspects of selling a home. They can work with the buyer’s agent, offer tips for selling your home and help set reasonable pricing expectations. This reduces the workload involved in selling and means you don’t have to become an expert on housing and finance before you move.
A “good” real estate agent may not be good enough, though. You need someone who understands the market in your area and your needs. Some things to look for include:
Someone who regularly sells houses in your neighborhood.
Someone who works primarily as a real estate agent — not someone for whom this is a part-time job.
A person who has experience working with older adults intending to move.
Someone you like. Good communication is key, and you're going to be talking a lot with this person.
Be sure to ask for references and to trust your gut. Ideally, you should interview several real estate agents before hiring one. The community you're moving to will likely have well-vetted referrals for you to start with. And don’t shy away from asking pointed questions about pricing and marketing; a good real estate agent should be able to give it to you straight.
Consider repairs or upgrades.
Most buyers want a contemporary, clean home that is move-in ready. Making upgrades and repairs often increases the value of your home immensely — by much more than the cost of the repairs. But before you invest in a big home improvement project, be sure to talk to your real estate agent about what buyers are seeking, then look at your budget. If buyers in your area are eager to move into a fixer-upper, repairs may not be worth the expense.
Declutter and rightsize.
Moving is the ideal time to build a space that is perfect for your current lifestyle — not the person you were 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Take some time to reflect on your ideal space. How does it look? How does it feel? What do you want around you, and what do you want to go?
Decluttering can help you ensure your space matches your current needs. Consider simplifying as much as possible. After all, fewer items mean less time spent cleaning and more opportunities to enjoy whatever comes next.
Some people find it emotionally challenging to declutter. Remember that your legacy is not a bunch of stuff, and the memories reside within you, not in a pile of old objects you can't find a place to store. Try making a memory box or trunk. Or if you have a number of sentimental pieces you truly can’t part with, consider either giving them to a family member, keeping them in storage or converting to digital photos so you can look at these mementos whenever you like.
Stage your home.
One of the most important aspects of getting your home ready to sell is making it easy for buyers to picture themselves in your place. In most cases, even the most beautiful home could use some enhancements. Creating a neutral look and removing clutter and unnecessary decor and furniture can open the eyes of potential buyers. And don't forget about curb appeal — it's amazing what attractive landscaping can do!
But the market varies from place to place, so don’t undertake a massive staging project without first talking to your real estate agent. A local expert is a font of knowledge about what works and what doesn’t in your neck of the woods.
Prepare to sell your home: A step toward shaping your future.
Downsizing can be tough, and selling your home requires some work. But keep your eye on the prize: a more joyful, less cluttered life. With the right support and by following these tips for selling your home, you’ll get there in no time.
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