Empty nester: how to sell your home and downsize

House Interior
  • By My Tennessee Home Solution
  • 19 Aug, 2022

For those of us who are near or in retirement years, the idea of “downsizing” is an attractive one. The thought of a smaller home, with less upkeep and a lower mortgage or no mortgage at all, can be appealing. And for many people, it makes sense to downsize: It can save you money and give you more time to enjoy your leisure years.

Although we need our children to grow up and become independent, it’s natural to feel a little sad when they move out of the family home. Suddenly, the house feels too big, and we may find ourselves rambling around aimlessly, looking for things to do. If you’re struggling with the idea of an empty nest, downsizing may be the answer.

The fact is, you don’t really need all that space now that the kids are gone. And with them goes the need for extra bedrooms, a big backyard, and a home close to good schools. It’s time to make a change, but how to do that exactly? The most necessary part of this decision is to not rush into anything. Selling a home and then downsizing should be a process that is well-thought-out and deliberate.

Tennessee home buyers have been serving Tennessee areas for years, and we pride ourselves on working closely with our clients to help them through what can be a difficult process.

What Does Downsizing Mean for You?

Many people fantasize about financing a good chunk of their retirement by selling their current home, buying a smaller place, and investing the difference for income. In reality, however, they often reap far less profit than they might have hoped.

Done right, downsizing can still be a good idea. You might not just walk away with more money but also simplify your life and reduce your home-maintenance and utility costs for years to come. To reach that happy outcome, you need to steer around the unexpected pitfalls that make downsizing so dicey. (1)

Before you do anything else, it’s time to sit down and figure out what exactly you want from this transition. Does it make sense to consider downsizing? Are you struggling to keep up with the maintenance on your current home? Do you find yourself wanting to travel more and spend less time at home? Do you want to move to a smaller home in the same area, or are you looking for a complete change of scenery?

Think about your current lifestyle and how a smaller home would fit into that. We usually think of downsizing as trading in a big home for a smaller one, but that’s not always the case. You might want to trade your current home for a condo, townhome, or even an apartment. And you don’t necessarily have to move to a smaller city or town – you might just want to move to a different neighborhood in the same city. So take all the above questions into consideration to help you decide what is best for your situation and talk to Tennessee home buyers today.

List Your House for Sale

When you made up your mind that downsizing is the way to go, it’s time to put your house on the market. And although it’s tempting to try and sell your home on your own, it’s usually better to enlist the help of a real estate agent. Whether it’s upsizing, downsizing, or even relocating for work, real estate agents have the knowledge and experience to help you through the process. They can give you advice on pricing your home, marketing it, negotiating with buyers, and more.

Declutter and Depersonalize Your Home

A house that’s cluttered and full of personal items is often less attractive to buyers than a clean, open, and well-organized home. So prior to putting your home on the market, one of the things to do is to declutter and depersonalize your space. Get rid of any knick-knacks, family photos, and personal items that might make it difficult for buyers to envision themselves living in your home. Buyers want to be able to see themselves in your home, and they can’t do that if a house is full of mess.

Sell Your Furniture or Donate It to Charity

Furniture takes up a lot of space, and if you’re downsizing, you probably won’t have room for all of it in your new home. So what do you do with it? Sell it, give it away to family or friends or donate it to charity. However, new homeowners could take advantage of the opportunity to buy some of your old furniture that’s in good condition. You are simply giving them a head start in furnishing their new home, and it’s a win-win for both of you.

Update and Upgrade Your Home

The first impression counts, and when selling your home, you want to make sure that buyers perceive it in the best possible light. So take a look around your home and see if there are any areas that need to be updated or upgraded. This could be anything from painting the walls to fixing a leaky faucet. Even small updates can go a long way in making your home more appealing to buyers.

Check That All Appliances Are in Working Order

Trying to sell a home with appliances that don’t work is just setting yourself up for a headache. Whether it’s the oven, the dishwasher, or the washing machine, buyers will expect all appliances to be in good working order. Before putting your home to sell, make sure to have all appliances serviced and repaired if necessary.

Be Prepared for an Emotional Process

Of course, going away is bittersweet – the home you’re leaving behind holds a lot of memories, and it can be tough letting go. But downsizing doesn’t have to be all sadness – it can also be an exciting new chapter in your life. Embrace the change and look forward to creating new memories in your new home.

Get Your Home Ready for an Open House

Once you’ve decluttered, personalized, and made all the necessary repairs, it’s time to get your home ready for an open house. This includes things like making sure the windows are clean, the floors are swept and mopped, and there is no laundry or dishes lying around. You want buyers to come in and see a clean and well-maintained home.

Click Amazing Photos of Your House

In today’s market, potential buyers start with an online search, with most people looking at photos before they ever step foot in a home. It is indeed true that a picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure you take advantage of that by taking professional looking photos of your home. This doesn’t mean you need to hire a professional photographer, but you should at least take the time to stage your rooms and take good quality pictures.

Create a Moving Plan

Downsizing can be a big undertaking, and it’s crucial to have a plan in place before you start packing up your belongings. Decide what you’re going to take with you, what you’re going to sell or donate, and what you’re going to throw away. This will make the moving process a lot less daunting and will help to ensure that you don’t take more with you than you need. Moving becomes simple and easy when you want to sell house as is when it needs repairs.

Start by going through your belongings room by room and decide which items you want to keep, sell or donate. You might be surprised at how much stuff you have that is no longer needed. Once you’ve sorted through your belongings, it’s time to start packing. Be sure to label all the boxes so you know what’s in them and where they need to go in your new home.

When a person is coming to an end of his/her working life, the ride may be euphoric. One may feel accomplished, proud, and ready to move on to the next stage of life. However, once the euphoria subsides, the practicality of what lies ahead begins to set in. 

And for many people, it means to downsize their homes. This is the time they should get rid of those responsibilities they’ve been carrying around for years. Not only will this declutter their homes, but it will also give them a sense of freedom and a lighter load to carry as they move on to the next phase of their lives – So make the move and enjoy your newfound freedom.

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