If you are preparing to move into a senior community, selling your house may be one of your biggest challenges. What seems like a straight forward process can actually be a more difficult one to manage without some help. A little professional advice and the appropriate resources can make a big difference in not only making the sale, but in making the selling process a smooth one.
That’s why some retirement communities offer expert home selling assistance. For example, The Garlands of Barrington, a continuing care retirement community in the northwest suburbs, partners with Moving Station, a national relocation management consulting firm based in Chicago that specializes in moving senior adults. Together they provide future Garlands residents with a hassle-free way to sell their current homes and move to the retirement community.
“Our experts have ‘been there, done that’ and can be advisors, worker bees and sounding boards throughout the home sale process,” says Sarah Parker, Move-in Coordinator at The Garlands.
The proof is in the results: In 2017, one hundred percent of Moving Station-supported home sales for Garlands residents were sold or under contract with an average of only 17 days on the market. Part of the secret to their success is a combination of five “back-to-basic” best practices that make the task more manageable and help ensure a successful sale.
1.) Start with a Timeline
First, define your timeline – how soon do you need to sell your house? Work with a real estate agent to put a plan in place that will help you accomplish your goals within a timeframe that works for you.
2.) Clear the Clutter
Now is the time to get rid of unwanted items that you will not bring to your new home. Start with the largest pieces – your furniture. Gently used furniture and other household goods can be donated. Your contribution may qualify for a tax credit, so be sure to get a receipt that documents the estimated value of your donation.
3.) Home Improvements
Generally, performing large remodels or renovations is not recommended. However, you may consider smaller improvements that will attract more buyers and perhaps increase your selling price. Discuss any and all projects with your real estate agent. He or she will help you determine which tasks would be beneficial, or even necessary, prior to putting your house on the market.
4.) Prepping for the Market and Making a Good First Impression
Before buyers make a decision, they envision themselves in each house they visit. Encourage these visualizations by removing your personal items such as family photos, collectibles, and other memorabilia, which may only serve to distract a potential buyer. Don’t forget about curb appeal! Cleaning your yard and walkway by cutting the grass and trimming trees and bushes will give a great impression to prospective buyers. It seems like it should go without saying, but, in the moment, looking at the exterior of the home through the eyes of the prospective buyer can be easy to neglect.
5.) Price Your Home Right
The first two weeks your home is listed is the most crucial part of the process because, in most situations, this is when greatest number of potential buyers visit your home. “Pricing your home correctly right from the start may help you to sell in the shortest amount of time for the best possible price,” says Ellie Monty, Co-Founder, Moving Station. “As a relocation management company, we research individual neighborhoods for comparable home listings and home sales and provide a pricing strategy. We also vet and recommend the best real estate agents for each senior home owner.”
“Selling your home does not need to be an overwhelming experience,” says Parker. “With practical advice and ongoing support, we can help you downsize, organize, sell and get moving!”