Many of our clients are downsizers. If you have lived in your home for many years, there is a very strong possibility that you will find the process of downsizing, selling off surplus household items and going through the home selling process stressful and overwhelming. However, if you assemble a team of competent professionals to assist you with each step, it should go a whole lot easier and before you know it, you will be relaxing in your home and enjoying life once again. Please consider the following steps.
1. Stop Calling It Home
Let go of your former home. The first red flag when I’m talking to a potential selling client is how they refer to their current address. If they refer to it as ‘home’ too often we have some work to do. For best results, please start referring to it as your ‘house’. At the end of the day, it’s just a pile of building materials carefully arranged to create a shelter. It will feel a bit weird at first, but if you keep doing it you will switch gears in your mind. Later on, when we actually find a buyer, it will help you make negotiation choices with a much higher level of clarity.
2. Look at The Facts – Take Advice
If you are like most house sellers, you will likely overvalue it relative to market. Find a competent REALTOR® advisor who can present you with the facts. Your REALTOR® and their team (assuming they have one) will be investing a great deal of time and money into marketing your house and finding ALL of the quality buyers available. The best REALTOR® advisors will be very thorough in preparing information and sharing their insights. Please take it seriously. There’s not a REALTOR® advisor out there that can deliver a ‘blue sky’ value i.e. a massive amount of money over and above current market trends. To find out what’s currently going on the market please visit our Annual Market Report and Monthly Reports Blog section.
3. Get Out & Explore Your New Home & Lifestyle
Its memories that make a home not the people in it at the time. Start to ‘pretend’ that you have already moved. Start looking at potential homes. Not sure about your options? Click here for some ideas you may not have considered: 6 Home Options for Downsizers
Try on the lifestyle for size. Start to plan what new furniture you might buy, start to plan where some of your existing things might go (hint: If you are downsizing, chances are you MUST let go of some pieces). Get into the local neighbourhood. Check out local coffee shops, recreational and hobby opportunities. Go for a walk around the neighbourhood and imagine yourself living in your new community.
If you are thinking of moving into a condo or specialist accommodation for downsizers, find out if you can attend some of the events that communities often arrange or talk to some current residents and learn their life stories. Chances are that they are simply ahead of you and went through the same worries and concerns that you may be facing now.
Decluttering is a useful first step: We have someone for that. Meet Lynne Neufeld.
4. Build a Mental Picture of Your New Home & Lifestyle
Imagine your family and friends coming over. Think about some of the events, parties and get togethers that you could arrange in your new home. Or make life simple and imagine that you will be going to their homes instead of you constantly being the organizer.
5. Put Yourselves into The Minds of Your Buyers
Once you have let go of your former home and got it into your mind that its just a house, you can start to think about it as a ‘gift to the buyer’. Chances are that we will replace you with a version of your former selves. For example, if when you purchased the house, you were a couple with young children, we will most likely be marketing to couples with young children. Think of them moving in and creating their own set of memories and happy times.
6. Recognize Your Emotional Roller Coaster *
As you go through the process, you WILL have ups and downs. Here’s a list of emotional states you are likely to experience:
Shock: What prompted your decision to downsize? Did your spouse pass? Has one of you developed a serious illness? Can you no longer manage the stairs? What about yardwork? Something will have occurred and you are not ready for it. You are off balance.
Denial: You let things ride for a few days or weeks. This too shall pass you say to yourself. Life always returns to normal. Doesn’t it?
Annoyance: Now you have started to realise that life has changed. You may feel sad, angry or some resentment at how unfair life can be.
Bargaining: What are my options? How can we really make this work? Who will buy my home? (not let go yet) Where will I live next? At this point you start to muddle through and get more organized.
Dejection: Perhaps you are realizing that your next home will cost more than you thought. Perhaps you are coming to realise that your current house is not worth what you thought it might be.
Experimentation: When you reach this point, you will become more success oriented. You will list your home for sale and invite showings. You will put an offer in on your next home, or make reservations at that seniors complex you have had your eye on. You may even look into the rental market. You might explore a move in with your children, or other family members.
Acceptance: Once you make the right decisions, the universe will work with you. You will sell your house. You will move and your life will change.
* Based on the original Kubler-Ross model with some original changes added
About the author:
Stuart Neal is an accredited Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®). Many of his clients are downsizers. You can read more about the author of this blog by clicking this link – Stuart Neal Broker Owner & REALTOR®
Want more information about our lower cost FLAT FEE home selling programs? Please feel free to call our broker owner Stuart Neal at: 780-760-2014 or visit our home sellers page www.FlatFeeRealtyAdvisors.ca
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