The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted people to look at things in significantly different ways. Whether it’s valuing family more, working from home, or losing a job, COVID has altered peoples’ lives. And the real estate market is no exception. In fact, many people have realized they no longer need, or they can’t afford, the size of house they currently have.
Downsizing is becoming increasingly popular in different areas of life. But as anyone currently in the process of trying to downsize a house knows, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Not only do you need to move or say goodbye to years of accumulated belongings, but to downsize to a smaller home, you must first sell your current one. Here are 10 tips for selling your home when preparing to downsize.
To begin, you’ll need to decide where you want to live and what type of dwelling you’re looking for. For example, do you want a condo near the city centre, or a small, rural house with land? If you need to sell your house prior to purchasing your next then you can consider a “rent back” from the buyer while you prepare for your move.
In some markets, you can purchase a house with a contingent offer where you agree to buy the new home only if you sell yours. Alternatively, other options are to temporarily carry two mortgages or rent or travel in the meantime while searching for your next house. Renting a smaller space makes good sense particularly if you’re still unsure whether downsizing is the right option for you.
Decluttering is always a helpful way to clear your space, bit it becomes even more important if your goal is downsizing. If you are moving to a smaller house, you probably have more stuff than you think – a lot more stuff! You’ll need to either store, sell, or donate your extra belongings, and it’s best to do that before buyers start seeing the house.
If you have high quality furniture and household items, the buyer may be interested in purchasing them along with the house. If not, you’ll want to channel Marie Kondo and start to get rid of possessions that don’t spark joy.
Downsizing is stressful enough, you don’t want to add so you’ll want your home sale to be successful and low-stress. You may want to rely on a realtor to set the asking price, advertise, communicate with buyers, post photos, stage the house, and review the offers. But if so, you’ll have to pay them a percentage (usually 3%) of the sale price.
You can also choose to work with a company like MarketPro Homebuyers, which will purchase your house for cash. You won’t need to pay closing costs, realtor fees, repair expenses, and you can skip the headache of the selling process entirely This is an appealing option if you want to sell your house quickly in “as-is” condition to a trusted company who will help you move and won’t require paperwork, inspections, or long closings.
Whether you do it yourself or hire someone, thoroughly cleaning your house will help you sell it. A clean house makes buyers are more comfortable and gives them the impression that the house was well taken care of.
If you plan on downsizing, then cleaning your house can be good motivation to get rid of that second, broken fridge in the garage and the 1970’s couch in the basement. Be sure to clean as close as possible to the showings and after you’ve had a chance to declutter.
While major projects like a total bathroom remodel probably won’t be a good return on investment prior to selling, smaller repairs can go a long way toward adding value. A broken doorknob or fading paint don’t cost a lot to fix, and those repairs give the impression a neat, well maintained home.
Most buyers want a move-in-ready house, so do your best to fix all the minor things that you’ve been putting off. For major repairs, like a new roof or foundation repair, you’ll want to advise an agent to determine if it’s better to sell as-is or make the repairs prior to selling. If your house does need serious repairs, you can consider selling it for cash as-is.
Curb appeal has traditionally been what people see when they first step onto the curb in front of a house. It’s their first impression. Consider cleaning up your landscaping, planting flowers, painting or replacing your front door, and moving that 20-year-old car with body damage and chip paint.
In today’s world, you also need to be sure your house’s online first impressions are favourable. To increase the online appeal start by staging your house (see below), take high quality photos on a bright day, and use your best advertising skills to write the online description.
This task may best be done by someone who isn’t the homeowner. It may feel personal to hear that the way you’ve arranged your house, or the furniture you have, isn’t as appealing to buyers. But fortunately, you’re selling your house and not your interior decorating skills.
A well-staged house invites buyers to linger, and balances a lived-in feel with a clean, blank slate for a buyer to imagine making their own. This step is especially important for taking photos and in-person open houses or showings.
If you sell your house through a traditional listing, the most of the offers you’ll get will be time limited. As a result, you’ll want to review these with your real estate agent immediately after the deadline you’ve given to buyers. Depending on the original offer you may want to send a counteroffer that changes the terms.
Real estate transactions are significant undertakings. Feel free to take your time, consider all the offers and possibilities, and reach a deal that works for you. As always, MarketPro Homebuyers is happy to work with you to close on your timeline, ensuring a convenient and stress-free sale.
It should come as no surprise that the amount the buyer agrees to pay is not the final amount that you will receive. There are fees, taxes, and both the buyers’ and listing agent’s commissions that you’ll need to account for.
While there’s a lot of variation, you can expect to pay anywhere from 8-10% of the final sale price of the home in closing costs. Be sure to factor these in when you’re deciding whether it’s the right time to sell. And if you want to avoid closing fees and costs altogether, work with MarketPro Homebuyers! We never assess any unexpected fees.
After you’ve had time to say one last goodbye to your house as you know it, it’s time to start packing! Even though you decluttered prior to listing, this is another chance to continue downsizing.
Moving can be expensive – which is another reason why MarketPro Homebuyers may be a good option for an easy, convenient, and successful home sale: we help you move! If the idea of packing, shipping, storing, or moving all of your cherished possessions seems overwhelming, we’ve got your back.
Don’t forget – you’ll also need to make sure that your new, smaller house has space for the items that look so normal in your current house. Organize your items in a way that works for you and be sure consider inventorying your items and noting what the various boxes contain before you put them into the moving truck or mini-van.
As the world continues to change downsizing to a smaller house is becoming more appealing for many people. The biggest challenge to downsizing might be consolidating years of your life and possessions to fit into a smaller house. While the downsizing process is both exciting and daunting for most people, if you can find a new house, select the best home sale option for you, get your old house in shape, and minimize your possessions, you may find yourself successfully on your way to a new, simpler way of life.