Downsizing Series — Week 5
The thought of downsizing usually brings a negative connotation with it. Something we “have to do” or are forced to do at some point in life. I totally disagree with this way of looking at downsizing. I think the concept should be embraced and even celebrated because sometimes in life less is more.
Here’s the perfect 6-week series, Downsizing Can Be the Right Move for You — 5 Steps to Make it a Smooth Transition, to help you determine whether you’ll be ready for such a move in the near future or much later on. Plus you’ll learn what strategies can make the downsizing process less stressful and a more productive and positive experience.
Stick with me through not only today’s article but the rest of my Downsizing Series where you’ll discover that not only less can be more but your life in a smaller home doesn’t have to feel like a loss — it can be a gain of more opportunities, more financial freedom, and so much more.
When it comes time to sell, you’ve only got one shot to get the most profit from your current home to take with you to your next home and new chapter of your life.
So, the goal is to get the most money out of your home in the shortest amount of time.
You’ll be in a better position to use any profits to buy your downsized home (maybe without financing) or to enjoy any extra money for travel, hobbies, investments or general living expenses — whatever is best for your particular circumstances.
It’s important to strategize at this stage of a downsizing move on how best to sell your home, including timing the market right, pricing your home correctly, and determining what is worth spending money on to attract potential buyers.
We can’t just put your home on the market and hope for the best. We need to intentionally follow a specific process to ensure that you get the very most for your home so you can put your profit from the sale to good use in the years ahead.
That’s where my expertise and experience with other downsizing clients can help. I have a proven strategy for selling your home, maximizing your profit, and do both while minimizing your stress.
Let’s take a look at what to expect with this process.
Selling Strategies to Boost Profit
Since we want to maximize your profit from the sale of your home, we’ll focus on the following key strategies. Of course, we can tweak them depending on your own goals and particular situation.
- Determine when you are selling
First decision to make—when do you want to be in to your next home? Your timing will dictate certain actions and decisions — from the listing price to how much time and effort you should invest in getting your home ready. It will also determine how best to reach buyers for that time period.
For example, when you list a home during the holidays or summer, you’ll take one approach, while listing during the busy spring selling season requires a different approach.
That’s why I like to talk to clients well before they want to list their home if they plan to downsize. We can get a better idea of the best timing and also create a realistic schedule to align with how long it could take for the purging (keep, donate, sell, or toss) and prepping process to be done, including scheduling in time for repairs or updates to be completed.
- Know your most likely buyer
Knowing who is most likely to buy your home will determine so much about how to sell your home. This is such an important part of selling your home quickly and profitably.
Knowing your potential buyer will determine decisions like when is the best time to sell, what should your home look like to be appealing to this buyer, and even how to price it.
Here’s where my knowledge of our local market will help determine who will be attracted to your home, its location, and other unique factors that become the reasons why someone should buy YOUR home versus any others.
As always and an important reminder, I follow the Fair Housing Act to prevent discrimination to buyers in any form.
- Maximize your home’s sales potential
You want your home to shine and appeal to buyers, making them want to make a bid on your home quickly. Multiple bids or even a bidding war is a seller’s dream!
Buyers want to envision THEIR life in your home, and not yours.
That’s why when you downsize, you’ll need to not only get rid of your stuff for the move to a smaller home but also for when you list your current home on the market.
Your home is more sellable (and profitable) when it’s uncluttered and has minimal personal items to distract buyers, such as family pictures, knick knacks, books, or certain furniture. Even a home with outdated features or styles can impact a sale.
Together we can walk through your home and decide what things we can do to stage or update your rooms. Sometimes that can include easy fix-ups or something a bit more. You’ll find more details on this below.
- Watch the market carefully
It’s important to keep a close eye on the market between when we first meet to when you plan on putting your home up for sale. I’ll have the most up-to-date data on what has sold, what has come on the market, and what is staying on the market in order to determine the perfect listing price for your home.
And, of course, I’ll keep you in the loop and provide you with the data AND discuss how other homes that sell before your home goes on the market could impact your listing price.
We’ll discuss a price range and pricing strategy at our initial meeting; however, it’s better to determine the exact price the week you list your home. Reason being—prices change pretty quickly and your value will be determined by what’s selling (or not selling and sitting on the market).
Prepping Your Home — What’s Worth It or Not
As we discussed above, getting your home ready to list when you’re downsizing to a smaller home can take more time than other types of moves because of the purging process.
And once you’re done purging, there may be additional work to prep your home before you list it — such as painting certain rooms, putting in new carpet or even leaving it exactly as it is.
First impressions from the get-go are very important when it comes to selling your home. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars, but if you do want to spend more it should be for an upgrade with an excellent return on investment (ROI)
I can help you determine what is worth doing that will be appealing enough to buyers to get a ROI and what isn’t. Specific updates can bump up your price high enough so that you’ll still gain a profit despite any upfront costs for the update, while some “updates” can be a waste of time and money.
- Get the most bang for your buck for fix-ups
Every neighborhood and price point has a unique set of expectations that buyers come with before they even see your home.
We want to “hit the nail on the head” with meeting those expectations. We don’t want to over-improve and waste time and money, but we also don’t want to under improve and disappoint buyers when a few minor things could turn them into your home’s next owner.
Depending on the price point, the location and who your most likely buyer is, I will give you an idea of certain features that are big selling points. If comparable homes have granite or quartz counters, you may want to consider upgrading if yours is lacking. Or, be prepared to not sell for the same price as those.
Most of the time, we aren’t talking about doing major renovations, even in the bathroom and kitchen. I can help you focus on basic updates or smaller upgrades (such as new cabinet hardware or light fixtures) that will make your home look clean, stylish and polished.
- To stage or not to stage, that is the question
Staging is important for two reasons.
First, in order to get a potential buyer to come see your home, it has to look great online.
Second, once they come look at your home, you want them to be able to “see” their life as they are walking around. Staging is like their vision board when touring your home — it helps them see what their future would look like if they lived there.
Staging can be costly, but it’s truly a worthy investment.
- Understand the pros and cons of an “as is” sale.
“As is” means the buyer will purchase your home in its current condition no matter what since you won’t be doing any repairs to the property before selling it.
However, as a seller, you are still required by law to disclose certain defects in your home to buyers. I can help you with those disclosures.
Sometimes, selling a home “as is” is the right move. But keep in mind, the condition of a home lowers the final sales price and could lead to a longer selling timeframe.
Together we could weigh the pros and cons of what is best for your own goals if selling “as is” or not, and what you want to accomplish with this sale.
Thinking of Downsizing … Contact Me Today!
As you can see, there are several strategies we can use to make sure you get the most profit for your current home. Some may be worth the time and effort, and some we may decide aren’t. No matter what, I’ll work with you to make sure we can accomplish what you want from this sale and move to a downsized home.
Since the downsizing process can take longer than other moves, let’s meet up as soon as you think this will be your next type of move. The way, I can help take some, if not all, of this prep work off your hands.
Getting a home ready to sell is what stops most sellers, but I can take some of that stress off of you. That’s just part of what I do for my downsizing clients.
Next week’s topic — Find Your Best Next Home When Downsizing — will focus on how you can still Dream Big with a smaller home. You’ll know what to focus on and what you want out of your next home, such as features, location and more. Stay tuned for this article in my Downsizing Series!
I'm Beth Little and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
116 W Main Street
Northville, MI 48167
Buy & Sell
schedule your free consultation