As YourExitRealtor, I like to find you articles that may actually help you in your decision process of buying or selling a home. This is a great article on Retirement and Relocation. If you have any questions please go to www.yourexitrealtor.com and email me directly.
5 Steps to help you sell your home for Retirement.
In parts of the country where the housing market is reviving, some homeowners who had put off relocating for retirement are testing the real-estate waters again.
If you're thinking of selling your house, all the familiar recommendations still apply: a coat of paint, flowers by the front door, top-to-bottom cleaning.
But to cope in today's real estate environment, it may take more than fresh flowers and fresh paint. It may take a fresh mindset:
1. Face reality.
If it’s been a long time since you bought or sold a home, you may be in for some surprises. It's still a tough market in many areas. Are you prepared for today's often-choosy buyers?
Try getting inside buyers' heads. With their expectations of granite countertops and optimal feng shui, these buyers are just trying to fit in with their peers—just as you once may have.
But before spending big bucks on cosmetic updates, consider doing some research to weigh the cost in the context of what comparable homes in your market have fetched in the past six months.
2. Brace yourself for less-than-flattering feedback.
No corner of your castle will be beyond scrutiny. Especially for those whose homes hold years of memories, it can be jarring to be told to hide your wedding photos and whitewash the knotty-pine paneling that was once all the rage.
Do you think your agent is being unreasonable by insisting you strip off the grapevine wallpaper border in the kitchen? Consider seeking a second opinion. Do you have a tact-challenged neighbor? Who's your most blunt friend? Invite them to weigh in.
If it's any consolation, remember that even in tight markets there will always be buyers who routinely find fault or make low-ball offers. Of course, consider consulting a real estate lawyer when weighing offers or negotiating sales or listing contracts.
3. Erase every trace of you and yours.
Especially for longtime homeowners, this is often the hardest thing to do. It may still be your home-sweet-home, but once you put your house on the market, it becomes a public commodity.
And buyers typically want it to look as impersonal as that sounds. That means no graduation portraits on the piano, no froggie magnets on the fridge, no jammies on the bathroom hook.
Buyers not only tend to prefer houses that betray no trace of human habitation; they also like a blank slate—white or off-white walls, beige carpet, white or beige bath fixtures—on which they can envision their own decor.
But before ripping out the pink tile in the powder room, do some homework: You may want to research sale prices of comparable homes in your area before deciding whether it would be cost-effective to replace pricey features such as bath fixtures.
4. Space standards have changed.
It may have been the norm for Wally and the Beaver to share a bedroom, but expectations are different today. A large master suite, an eat-in kitchen, a family room off the kitchen, a finished basement, a guest bedroom—these constitute the new baseline in many markets.
If your house is short of space by today's reckoning, create the illusion of it.
How? Lose some stuff:
- Cut the contents of every closet and cabinet by at least half. At this point in life, you can manage without nine baseball caps, a dozen tablecloths, and three barbecue aprons.
- Subtract some furniture. Eliminate one piece from every room. Ottomans can consume a lot of visual space. Same goes for cedar chests. Remove coat racks. Even when bare, they imply a shortage of closet space.
- Declutter before listing. Maybe you'd rather wait until the house sells to dispose of excess papers and possessions. But clutter is a turn-off. Hold a garage sale. Or find a charity that will send a truck out. Sell anything of value online. Not comfortable with computer transactions? Give your kids or grandkids a cut to sell it for you. Is all your stuff precious to you? Ask yourself whether it’s worth the cost of renting a storage bay.
- Invite your children or other loved ones to make wish lists. You don't have to promise anyone anything, but once you know who might someday want the cut-crystal cake stand or the Iron City beer can collection, it may be easier to decide what to keep and what to toss.
5. Pace yourself.
Selling a house is stressful. Besides the hassle of preparing the property, engaging an agent and lawyer, keeping everything spotless, and sacrificing your privacy, you may feel sad, relieved, angry, worried, excited—or all of the above, all at the same time.
When the going gets tough, retreat to an inner sanctum—maybe putter in the garage or hole up in a home office—where a little mess won't hurt.
thanks to vangard.com for a great article.