Putting your house on the market involves many decisions, both - emotional and financial. You’ve likely looked at the real estate market to see which nearby houses have sold, the sale price, and how long they were on the market.
While no one can fully predict the market, take into consideration these three factors that every retiree should know when they are considering selling their home.
3 Factors Retirees Should Know When Selling Their Home
- Don’t assume the value will go up if you wait.
Age, condition and upgrades are three of the top factors that affect resale value of a home. Generally, as a home gets older, it becomes less valuable. New buyers may be looking for modern kitchen features, an energy-efficient furnace, new windows and other upgrades. If you are debating about whether now is the time to sell, make sure you take into consideration what additional upgrades would be needed to make it market-ready in another 5, 10, 15 years.
- Consider staging your home.
Before you put up the For Sale sign, begin downsizing. Pack up your personal items and remove things that are stored in rooms you no longer use. You want potential buyers to be able to envision the home as theirs, not just see your belongings in the home.
De-clutter and rearrange furniture so that each room shows its distinctive, useful purpose. Some realtors suggest touring model homes to see how they stage a home for selling.
Also, don’t overlook the exterior of the home. Curb appeal is just as important as cleaning the inside of the home – it's the buyer's first impression. Mow the lawn, make sure the sidewalk and driveway are free of clutter and debris, and ensure the house number is easily visible.
- Don’t forget your game plan for the future.
It’s easy to begin second-guessing yourself, especially with such a big decision.. Make sure you consider:
- As the home ages, it’s going to require more maintenance.
- The larger it is, the more time and money you’ll have to spend on upkeep..
- Did you purchase your home to meet the needs of a larger family? Are all of those extra rooms now only used when grown children or grandchildren come to visit? You’re still paying to heat and cool them.
- Are you spending retirement funds paying taxes on a large house when you’re really only using a few of the rooms?
- Does the home have several levels, stairs and other features that could be safety hazards in the future? How much will it cost to remodel and upgrade safety concerns for the future?
- Think back on when you were looking for the perfect home. You might have looked for one in the best school district, near the office or in a more affluent neighborhood. Do those factors apply to your life now?
- What would you look for in the perfect place to retire? Keep that in mind.