Whether you are a senior or you’re the grown child of a senior, if you’re reading this blog, chances are, you are thinking about selling your family home in the near future.
This necessary transition is something almost everyone goes through in life. It’s an emotional experience that many people try to avoid for as long as possible.
But what about embracing the inevitable? Selling your home as a senior can be an incredibly liberating experience, not a sad one.
In this post, let’s talk about when is the right time for seniors to sell their homes. I’m even giving some of my top tips for a stress-free sale. Keep reading!
Before I go further, why not subscribe to my YouTube channel? I drop a new video every week on everything you need to know about the Toronto real estate market. Subscribe here and be the first to know when a new video comes out!
How Seniors are Different than Other Sellers?
Personally, I love working with seniors. Selling your home is an emotional journey and not everyone gets to sell houses every day (only the super lucky ones, like me!) There is something so special about hearing the stories and history of a home. My senior clients get to take me down their very own memory lane, and there are few things more heartwarming than being trusted with a life transition of this importance.
However, for some seniors, selling the family home can feel stressful. Already, emotions are running high. They’ve likely lived in their homes for decades and can feel extremely sentimental and attached to their property. Add in some well-meaning grown children, and the entire experience can be overwhelming.
Are you looking for more resources to help sell your home? Read some of our other blogs here:
What Are the Advantages of Selling As a Senior?
Beyond the obvious benefits of selling your home, there are some reasons why selling makes sense specifically for seniors. I’m going to put a bit of a trigger warning here, we’re going to dive into some semi-morbid discussion. But truth be told, it pays to be a little pragmatic as a senior seller!
Here are a few of the benefits you can expect when you sell your home as a senior:
- For many seniors, their homes are paid off, which means no mortgage to pay back. The entirety of your sale can go towards funding your end-of-life care.
- Some clients don’t want to burden their loved ones. Selling before someone passes away can help make things more organized and smooth for the relatives you are leaving behind.
- Selling as a senior helps safeguard your future and will ensure you can remain comfortable for the rest of your life.
- It also ensures that if you pass, your property will not be stuck in probate, which could take anywhere from 6-12 months.
By making good decisions now, you can save your family much heartache, while also ensuring that you can spend your golden years enjoying life, not worrying about needing to sell your home.
One thing to note, I am not a lawyer or an accountant. So if you have specific questions about probate court, drafting a will, or estates, it’s best to direct your questions to the pros.
Top Tips for a Stress-Free Sale
Selling your home can be stressful–and that goes for anyone, not just senior citizens. However, there are numerous ways you can be proactive and make the process as hassle-free as possible. Here are some of my top tips:
- Look at your timeline. Find out a reasonable time for you to move and get a better understanding of the costs associated with your home. Many seniors do not have mortgage payments, but there are other expenses such as utilities, property taxes, home maintenance, and more.
- Find a real estate agent you jive with. Finding the right agent could take time. It’s important to choose someone who you can trust, with a style you like. This person will be your guide throughout the entire process.
- Start to think about home repair and renovations. Not all homes require extensive repairs, and truthfully, all of my senior clients have lovely, well-maintained homes, but sometimes it’s just about taking a few key steps to make the home more modern. Your trusted real estate agent can help recommend what would be worthwhile.
- Clean, declutter, stage. These are steps we do for every home we sell, but it could look a little different for homeowners who have spent their entire working lives living in the same home. Decluttering could take anywhere from 1-2 weeks. Staging is also not always required, but in most cases, it’s a great way to help your home appeal to as many people as possible.
Is your home on the market but not moving? Read our post about 4 reasons why your home might not be selling here.
Staging your home is more than just putting some new furniture in it. We do some market research first and determine a niche for your home. For example, let’s say you live in a neighbourhood with a ton of new families moving in, we might take your spare bedroom/office/TV room and stage it to look like a nursery.
Once you have determined your timeline, found your agent, and begun planning your home sale, there are other steps we take to make the process as easy as possible. A comparative market analysis (CMA) will help us price your home in a range that will encourage buyers to act now, and a pre-list home inspection can help us get ahead of any potential red flags that buyers might point out.
Selling your home as a senior is a big decision. But you don’t have to do it alone. Whether you’re planning for yourself, or for a loved one, I am happy to help! Call me at 647-973-8392 to start the conversation.