After the kids are grown and gone and you enter retirement, you finally have the time to look around and assess your living situation. When many people aged 65 and older actually take that look, they realize what worked in the past might not be best for them going into the future. Most of us don’t need the amount of stuff or space that we have. When you grow older, that becomes even truer. For instance, you don’t need excess clutter getting in your way, a large lawn to maintain or stairs to navigate. Or maybe you would like to live closer to your grandchildren or relocate to a warmer climate.
Whatever your reason for moving, it’s not exactly a simple, easy endeavor. It’s probably been years since you last dabbled in the real estate market. While much of the process is still the same, there’s a lot to consider if you’re jumping into the housing market.
If you’re interested in selling your house in your golden years, take the following into consideration.
Staging Your Home To Sell
When selling your home, you want to do all that you can to ensure you get the most money possible (in St. Louis, homes are selling for an average of $160,000). To do so, it’s important to make repairs and renovations and to properly stage your home.
Go ahead and start packing away excess photos, knick-knacks, and other decorations. Your home decor should be as minimal as possible. You want it to act as a bare canvas on which potential homebuyers can see themselves painting their own lives. Seeing how you personalized the home inhibits that fantasy as it imprints the idea that the house is someone else’s.
With the decor sparse, you can now update the look a bit. A new coat of paint can add thousands of dollars to your home’s asking price. Don’t just choose any color; real estate experts say certain shades in particular areas work best. Try a grey or blue front door, a grey-blue kitchen, a taupe living room, and a purple or blue bathroom for your best chances.
If you really want to raise your home’s overall value, consider investing in a new roof -- it can increase your asking price up to $12,000, and the national average cost for professional installation is only $6,750.
Increase your home’s curb appeal by updating your flower beds, filling in grass patches, and power washing your driveway and walkways.
When showing your house, set your dining room with a table runner, chargers, a centerpiece, and place settings.
Placing fresh flowers in vases throughout the home makes everything else look newer, not to mention that it smells fresher.
Hire a housekeeper to deep clean your entire house and do a daily quick spot clean to keep up appearances.
Advice for Moving Day
The challenges of packing and moving make selling your house seem easy in comparison.
Hire packing and moving professionals to do the laborious work for you. You’re not in college anymore, so bribing your friends with pizza and beer in exchange for packing help is not an option. Just be sure to do your research to find a reputable company (and don’t forget to compare prices to be sure you’re getting a good rate). Keep in the mind best times during the day and week to move, as it might cost more and be more difficult to hire out on a Saturday or Sunday.
Keep essentials and valuables -- prescriptions, phone numbers, toiletries, jewelry, credit cards, etc -- on you or in a safe space where they can’t be lost or forgotten.
Schedule your moving day in the middle of the week when rates are lower and there is less traffic.
Many seniors decide to sell their houses in retirement either to downsize, go somewhere warmer, or to move closer to friends and family. Whatever the reason for moving, it’s still a lot of work. Stage your home to get the best asking price and don’t be afraid to invest in things like painting or roof renovations when there is a guaranteed return on investment. When moving day finally arrives, hire professionals to do the heavy lifting. Soon enough you’ll be settling into your new home and enjoying your golden years as your meant to: