Moving into a smaller home can be a challenge, no matter how necessary the move.
While many people are ready to leave their family home after the kids have left the nest, some find the process poses many emotional and practical challenges.
If you’re thinking about selling the family residence and finding a smaller home, these five tips will help make the process smooth and hassle-free.
Prepare yourself mentally
Like any big change, downsizing can bring with it strong emotions. If you are selling your family home, where you raised your kids and watched them grow, it will be full of memories. There will be lots of items in the house which you won’t be able to take with you into a smaller home, so prepare for the task of cleaning out.
Allow yourself to spend time speaking about your memories in the old home and your hopes for the next property, and if you’re moving with a partner make sure you’re on the same page.
Understand the market for buying and selling
Research is everything when making a big move. And getting a sense of the market in the area is essential if you are going to find the right new property. Attending inspections and auctions of smaller homes, even if you are not yet ready to make a purchase, will keep you up to speed with the market.
You can do the same when it comes to selling your family home. Attend plenty of inspections of similar homes and keep an eye out for the kind of people who are purchasing them, as well as how much they sell for. You can also make a note of the different styles and furnishings which seem to make a home appealing, and use these techniques when it comes time to style your own home.
Show your home at its best
You might love the way your home has been designed and styled, and it’s probably perfect for your own family – but to get the best price, it needs broader appeal. Ideally, your home should look ready for a family or couple to move in immediately. Your target market for a family home will probably be young couples or existing families and they will be looking for a home which requires minimal renovations.
A small investment, such as renovating the kitchen or bathroom, re-painting throughout, or putting in new carpet, can be enough to significantly broaden the appeal of your home.
If you need more help, you can have your home professionally staged to optimise its appeal.
Declutter like a pro
Decluttering can often be an intimidating task, but if you’re moving to a smaller space, it stands to reason that you will only be able to take some of your possessions with you.
To break the task down to make it more manageable, go through each room separately, beginning with the garage, shed, or other rarely-used items. Consider the kind of storage space at your new home, and whether the item has sentimental value. Begin with items which don’t have sentimental value before you begin on clothing, books, and furniture. Donate or sell anything which you no longer need.
Choose the best agent for your property
Interview local agents and ask them to give you a market appraisal, so you can understand the current market. Look beyond the sale price estimates and commission structures to choose an agent who offers the best overall approach to you and your property. Downsizing is a big decision, and you need to feel comfortable working with the agent you choose. It is essential that your agent has local knowledge and long-term industry experience to ensure you get the best price for your property.