Moving can be stressful, but downsizing to a smaller home adds a particular flavour of tension to the decision. Despite this, there are several ways to go about making the change easier, and once you’ve made the transition, you’ll feel more at peace with your new living arrangements. Currently, the real estate market is roaring hot and many people want to capitalize on their home’s value. Moving into a smaller home should leave you in a strong cash position—but you should be aware of changing housing markets. There are three main steps to moving into a smaller home: deciding what price to ask for your current home, listing your current home, and finding a new house to move into once you complete the sale of your current home. If it’s been a long time since you’ve purchased a home, consider engaging a real estate agent who can guide you through this entire process.
Knowing what to ask for your current home before downsizing can be a challenge. The real estate market is fickle, and while it has recently been rising, it will not be the same in all areas. Pay attention to listings in your neighbourhood is a good place to start; knowing what other homes are worth can give you an idea of the value of your own home. Take into account renovations, landscaping, and unique features of your home that could bolster the price as well. Speaking to a real estate agent is the logical next step, as he or she will be able to compare your home and neighbourhood with others and give you an idea of current values in the area and prices other homeowners are getting for their properties.
Getting into the Market
There are several factors that you must take into account when selling a home such as the time of year and the state of the market. Ensure that you take every measure to fix all outstanding issues in the home and stage it for photos and showings. Monitor the amount of inventory (other homes) that are on the market at any given time and list when demand is high and available inventory drops. Speak with a real estate agent to streamline the process, as they will be able to connect you with buyers that are interested in what your home has to offer. Ensure that your agent presents a marketing plan to market where 90% of the buyers shop: online. Caution—homeowners that attempt to sell their own home often grossly under price and lose the downsizing advantage. The 2015 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reported that homeowners that sold their own home (in 2014) received approximately 84% of the price of comparable homes sold by a real estate agent.
Searching for the Perfect Space
Think about what’s important to you in a new home. In some cases, downsizing your house could mean less indoor space and additional outdoor space. Perhaps you’re interested in less outdoor space and fewer bedrooms. Do your research and communicate your needs to your real estate agent. Don’t make the mistake of thinking downsizing means compromising.
Once you have an idea of your price range, it is time to start searching for your new home. Once again, real estate agents will be a huge help in this endeavour, giving them details about what type of home you are looking for including what type of area, required services, or desirable features will make it easier for them to find you your ideal home. Once you’ve narrowed it down, begin inspections and take into account the different aspects of the homes. Your real estate agent will help you prepare your offer, arrange all the paperwork and negotiate the best offer possible on your new home.
Nothing to It but to Do It
Whether you have chosen to move into a smaller home due to financial necessity or a desire to simplify, it is not as daunting a process as it may seem, especially when you partner with a real estate agent. Like any large decision, proper planning and execution go a long way to achieving the outcome you want.