Senior couple exploring new condo

By Joan Smothers, Managing Broker and Founder, Smothers Group – Compass

Joan SmothersWhen preparing to downsize, or “right size” as I like to call it, there is not only physical work to be done in preparing your home for sale, packing etc., but there is sometimes emotional work as well.

Select your Realtor at the beginning so that she or he becomes part of your team throughout the entire process. If there is someone who is helping you, like your daughter or son, we can keep that person in the loop as well. Once you know where you are going, you should hire your Realtor. If you do not know where you are going yet, a seasoned Realtor with experience in older adult moves can then walk you through all steps of the process and recommend choices for you.

Clearing out the home can be daunting. But there are vendors that will help you sort and get rid of items. They can help you sell some of your items or have them picked up for donation. You may require an estate sale or just someone to help you move the items you are keeping. No matter what, you are not doing it alone!

Now you would discuss what, if anything, might need to be done to the home for sale. If there are items that need attention, we can recommend people for repairs, painting, plumbing, electrical, etc. and ensure that the quotes you are getting make sense. We can make sure that you only outlay the necessary amount – not everything you have noticed needs to be fixed. We can highlight what may come up during the buyers’ inspection and get ahead of it to ensure a smooth move.

It’s helpful to look at a floor plan of your new residence so you take ONLY those items which you need or with which you cannot part. You don’t want to make another move once you get to your new place. Wasted time, energy and money.

Preparing the home “to sell” is important. Once some of your items are cleared out, there may be a need to replace carpeting, touch up painting, etc. Again, we can help provide names of tradespeople to help you complete those chores. We can make sure that you only do what is necessary. The changes could result in a quicker sale or a higher price. This is an extremely important time to make sure you are maximizing whatever assets you have to ensure that your quality of life does not suffer.

Now the emotional part. The home you are leaving may have been your residence for the last 30 or 40 years. You may have raised your children or babysat your grandkids there. Every piece of paper or picture that is stuck behind a drawer will spark memories. This part of the process can be very cathartic and precious and should really be given appropriate attention. Start that at the very beginning. It will take some time! This can be a very rewarding new life and you deserve it!