Helpful home selling advice for over 50s
It’s one of the most common questions we’re asked at Kensington Gardens – “What’s the best way to go about selling my home so that I can move to a retirement estate?”
While selling your home can feel daunting, you should remember that preparing your home for sale needn’t be difficult or costly. By focusing your effort on the “must-do” tasks, you’ll give yourself the best chance of selling your home within a reasonable period of time, and for a realistic sale price.
Here are seven useful tips to help you sell your home and move to Kensington Gardens as soon as possible!
1) Begin by doing your homework about the market and neighbourhood
It seems like a no-brainer, yet you’d be surprised how many people don’t really have an idea of the real estate market before offering their home for sale. It leaves them in quite a weak position when they’re faced with an offer on their home – how do you know if it’s a strong offer or one that could be better?
Instead of going in blind, we’d suggest taking the time to research what other stock is on the market in your area. Make sure you know when peak selling season is. And try to find out if there are similar homes to yours on the market too.
In this way, you’ll be able to determine a more effective marketing strategy for your home, and get some realistic expectations for selling times and home prices. Which leads us to...
2) Make sure you price your home competitively
If you’d like to see your home sell quickly, it’s important to list it at the right price. You don’t want to price it too cheaply (and leave money on the table), or so high that you get few offers to buy.
What’s worse, if your home sits on the market for some time, you may find people assume there’s something wrong with it, such as a poor interior layout or a lack of space.
That’s why listening to your real estate agent can really pay. Because they’re paid a percentage of your selling price, it’s in their best interest to price your home to suit the market and encourage a swift sale.
3) Help buyers see a ‘home’, not just a house
If you’ve ever watched one of the hordes of reality TV home renovation shows, you’ll know how important the kitchen and bathroom are to the ‘feel’ of a home.
Help these rooms appear in their best light by making sure they’re spotlessly clean for a start, and scrupulously tidy secondly. Make sure benches and counter tops are free of clutter, and think about clearing out some of the unnecessary kitchen appliances to emphasise how much space and storage you have.
If you’re selling in winter, make sure you pre-warm the home with your reverse cycle A/C or heater. There’s nothing like welcoming warmth to give a good first impression!
And if you live with pets, think about sending them to stay with family during viewing times. Some potential buyers could be put off if they’re allergic to pets or have a dislike for your fur children!
4) Put yourself in the home buyer’s shoes
You’ve no doubt heard the term, “first in, best dressed”. Well when you’re selling your home it’s more a case of “best dressed, first in”! A well-presented home will usually sell faster than a “fixer upper” or “renovator’s delight”.
Before you invite strangers to walk around your house with a critical eye, take the time to do so yourself. First impressions definitely count in real estate sales – so make sure your home makes a positive one!
You could even drive up to the home and park on the street outside – not in your driveway as you normally do. What does your home really look like from this perspective? Is everything as neat and tidy as it can be, or is some TLC needed?
Another great tip is to ask a close friend or family member to do a “drive by” of your home and get their honest impressions. Would they consider stopping for a closer look, if they were in the market?
5) Remember that little things add up to make a big difference
When you’re trying to sell your home, it’s a great idea to make it as easy as possible for people to agree to hand you their (let’s face it) substantial amounts of money.
How do you do this? Take care of any little niggling issues before putting your home on the market. Think about having a termite inspection done yourself before you list your home. Complete as many little repairs that have been hanging around as you can – touch up the little paint scratches, fix up sticky door knobs, and reattach those shaky drawer handles.
Who knows, that little bit of damaged paint work that you’ve lived with for years could mean the difference between a smooth sale and weeks on the market.
6) De-clutter your home and let it shine
We’re sorry to say it, but your tourist spoon collection, your pet accessories, and your framed collection of Fremantle Football Club champions just aren’t as interesting to most people as they are to you.
So when you’re getting your home ready to sell, make sure you remove all excess trinkets and send your extras off to storage. Instead of a quirky personalised home, show your potential buyers a clean, welcoming, blank canvas for them to paint their own home concept on.
While it may not feel exactly like your home for a little while, once you’ve sold your house and moved into a new home at an over 50s lifestyle estate, you can decorate any way you like.
7) Leave it to the professionals
Your home is your biggest asset – and the process of selling and moving is a big undertaking. So it’s understandable if you feel a desire to be involved in (or even ‘micromanage’) every aspect of your home sale.
Yet the fact is, this behaviour can be totally self-defeating. If you’re present during your open home, or even worse while potential buyers are discussing making an offer, it can create a very awkward situation. Buyers would much prefer to have an open discussion with your agent than have to hedge their words around a hovering home owner!
You can always ask your real estate agent about any positive or negative comments your home received – but after potential buyers have safely left the premises.
Need more advice on making the move into a retirement estate?
The Kensington Gardens team have helped dozens of homeowners move into their new lives at our over 50s lifestyle resort. There aren’t many situations we haven’t seen before!
So if you’d like to talk about your move to Kensington Gardens, or you have a specific question about selling your house, you’re welcome to give us a call at Albury on 02 6049 3100 or Shepparton on 03 5820 5100 or get in touch with the contact form here.