When many people hear the word “downsizing,” they immediately think of piles of unwanted clothes and boxes of books. And while getting rid of clutter is part of the process, it’s just as important to remember that part of downsizing is preparing your home for the process of selling it for the best price possible. Here are some downsizing tips for this very important part of the process.
Tip: Don’t let emotions get in the way.
“Hey, we’ve lived here for years. It’s fine the way it is.” You’ve spent years creating memories in your home; you know every square inch and see no reason why any potential buyer would pass it up. But here is one of the most important downsizing tips: now is the time to put emotions aside and be practical. Updating where necessary can pay significant dividends. Buyers look for homes that require few repairs, and where they can see themselves living a happy life. What might look okay to you could look tired or dated to someone else.
Tip: Be proactive.
“Why don’t we just wait for the inspection to see what needs fixing?” A better question might be: why wait for bad news when you can take care of it in advance? It’s much less likely for a deal to fall through if you do your own inspection before even listing your home. This way, you can uncover hidden issues and proactively address them. Or, you can offer a one-year home warranty plan that covers repairs and replacement to give the buyer peace of mind. Positive first impressions can be powerful.
Tip: Tackle inexpensive updates.
“We should just save our money and let the new buyer worry about repairs.” Opendoor.com defines upgrades as ways to maximize the value of your home (new lighting fixtures, new neutral paint for a fresh look)—and repairs are how you keep the current value of your home from falling (replacing the broken deck railing or taking out worn carpeting). It’s amazing the difference a few simple updates can make when it comes to moving your home quickly and for a good price. Even something as simple as replacing a dingy light switch adds appeal. In fact, when considering downsizing tips, remember to also think small!
Tip: Invest where it counts.
“I don’t even know where to start.” The outside of your home is the first thing buyers will see, so take a careful look at the front entry, porch, doors, and landscaping. Remove weeds and dead flowers, trim the shrubs and tidy up the garden beds. Check the shutters for damage. Curb appeal is one of the most important downsizing tips to keep in mind. Other key areas where updates provide the most return are kitchens and bathrooms. And remember, new paint is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to give space a fresh, inviting look.
Tip: declutter and depersonalize.
“Do we really have to hide all our stuff?” Your goal is to showcase your home in such a way that potential buyers can picture themselves there. That means less personal photos or knick-knacks that only have meaning for you. The more you take away, the bigger the space looks and the easier it will be for someone else to feel at home.
For some, moving out of the house during updating and selling relieves some of the stress. Whether you stay while doing the work, or you live elsewhere, you’ll also have to get rid of all the possessions that no longer serve you. Such as old magazines. Worn-out clothing. Souvenirs and items that you are ready to discard. Contents of closets, the attic and the garage.
Here are some downsizing tips for this part of the process:
- Take it slow. Do some thinking before you tackle the project. Consider one room at a time, or one closet at a time.
- Sort it out. Divide things into categories such as keep, donate, sell, throw away, recycle.
- Find a way to let go. Take a photo of the collections you can’t take with you. Give heirloom pieces to friends and family. Donate cookware or clothing to a charity.
- Bring friends. Make it fun! Invite some friends to help, involve the grandchildren, and enjoy the moment.
You can do it! Keep these downsizing tips in mind and remember what lies at the end of the rainbow: no more demands of a large home…just lots of freedom to enjoy life!
At Senior Star, you can live life on your own terms and fill your days doing what you love most.