What Senior Citizens Should Know About Selling Their Homes.
When you retire your home could be one of your most valuable assets. Therefore, selling your house at retirement age presents a different set of considerations than when you were younger Whether you are downsizing, or moving in to a community or with family it takes careful planning to get the most out of your equity.
First and foremost it is critical to find a real estate agent who is knowledgeable in the special needs of seniors. Ask if they have the SRES credential which stands for Senior Real Estate Specialist. Those such agents should have experience with or be familiar with senior housing options, HOPA- the housing for older persons act, and potential schemes or scams targeting Seniors. A specialist can guide you in making appropriate sales decisions, and refer you to other experts as needed.
Having lived in your home for many years it is natural to be unsure of its current value. Educate yourself on the current real estate market in your area through your real estate agent. Ask them to provide a CMA- comparative market analysis. The CMA, compiled from data in your region's multiple listing service, includes the most up-to-date home sales in your neighborhood.
As a Senior you should be aware of the incentives and pitfalls associated with selling your house. Speak to a financial adviser about the consequences of these transactions.
Selling also presents you with a ideal time to sort through your belongings. We call this "decluttering". This is the time to go through your knick-knacks, books, pictures, furniture etc and decide what to remove from the house before putting it on the market. Decluttering makes the house look more spacious, and helps potential buyers picture their belongings in the house rather than yours. Whatever items you decide to keep can be put in storage until you move. Valuables, medications and personal papers should be put away and kept out of sight.
Your real estate agent will give you ideas to help spruce up your home before going on the market.
What all Senior Citizens should know before selling their home.