Whether you’re a senior, empty nester, or simply looking to live in a smaller space, once you’ve made the decision to downsize your home, the first step is usually the hardest — getting rid of your stuff.
Here are three tips to successfully downsize your home and live comfortably in a smaller, cozier place.
1. Plan ahead with your new lifestyle in mind
– Will you have room for your existing furniture in your new space?
– What belongings will you be moving with you to your new home?
Don’t wait to make decisions and begin planning your downsizing early. Set timelines with goals. Think about what lifestyle you’ll want to embrace as you move forward and build a solid plan to make that happen.
2. Declutter your space
One of the most difficult decisions you’ll make while you begin your downsizing process is deciding what to keep and what to donate or discard. It’s perfectly normal to gain an attachment to your things- after all, they’ve occupied a place in your home for some time. Begin this journey by compiling a list of your wants, needs, and what you won’t be taking with you in your new space. Once you have completed your lists, remain committed to them. It’ll be easy to deviate from your plan but remember, you put the items on a list for a reason.
3. Make decisions with quality and purpose in mind
Remain conscious about what you let into your mind, life, and new environment. Choose furniture that can be utilized for different purposes, instead of trying to squeeze too many pieces into a single room. A great rule of practice is to choose furniture with good storage and space solutions. Think quality over quantity.
Lastly, allow someone to help in sorting and packing your belongings. It could be incredibly hard for you to let go of certain items that would just clutter your new space. If you find yourself stuck on a certain decision, ask for an objective opinion.
Downsizing doesn’t have to be a nuisance or a terrible experience— although, it may feel like it temporarily, think about the life and space you’ll get in exchange for all of the “stuff” you’ll be giving away.
Spring is in full swing and the real estate market is blooming. If you are debating or on the fence about whether or not to sell your home this season, Here are 3 reasons you should list your home for sale during spring:
Tap Into Your Home Equity
According to a recent report released by Zillow, in Seattle, homeowners are gaining $54.24 in equity per hour, 3.5 times the minimum wage of $15 an hour. This indicates that home values are appreciating at a rate per hour that’s actually higher than the local hourly minimum wage. This equity, however,
is only available once a homeowner sells.
Low Inventory Means Less Competition
According to another report released by Remax, the Seattle metro area is tied only with Denver for lowest home inventory and has one of the fastest markets in the country. This means that, in the majority of Seattle, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market.
Quicker Home Sale Than Ever
Due to the low home inventory, home buyers are doing all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford home shopping.
Only you can decide whether or not now is the time to sell your home or downsize, however, the real estate market is ripe for a quick and profitable home sale.
Don’t Make These Mistakes When Downsizing
Selling a home can be one of the greatest financial and emotional decisions of your life, whether you’re downsizing or not. Avoid these common mistakes and take some of the stress out of downsizing.
1. Less is not always more
Just because a home is smaller than the one you currently own, it doesn’t mean that it’s cheaper. While most home sellers focus on the costs they’ll save on energy usage and utility bills in a smaller place, they can often overlook additional costs like increased transport fees or possible long-term maintenance costs. Carefully weigh up the all the possible costs of your new property, especially if you’re looking to not just downsize space but costs in your day-to-day life.
2. Budget for your move
Make sure to leave enough money in your budget to stay-up-date on payments in your current home, as well as any additional costs you might accrue in the process of purchasing your new home or rental. To make sure that you’re covered in the time between selling and buying your new home, look into obtaining a bridging finance loan. Check with your Realtor or mortgage broker to see if you need to apply for this type of loan. Otherwise, ensure that you’re budgeting enough to cover your move and any extraneous expenses you may face along the way.
3. Not letting go of the past
It’s normal to want to keep the personal items that you and your family have accumulated over the years such as memorabilia, furniture, photos, and knick-knacks. The best way to handle this would be by creating a downsizing plan and writing down a list of what to pack and what to discard. Although it might be difficult in the moment, be ruthless and stick to your list, not only will it save you space in your new smaller place but it will empower you to start anew!
4. Don’t forget to cancel services and utilities
During your move, ensure that all home services and utilities get canceled or transferred over to your new property. Neglecting to disconnect or redirect home services like your Internet, phone line and utilities, as well as your home and contents insurance, can cause unexpected costs that could potentially result in your budget being off balance.
5. Move Comfortably
A common mistake made by folks downsizing is not allocating enough time in their schedules to comfortably move. Even the most experienced and methodical organizers would find it difficult to sort out an entire life’s belongings in just a few days. A good rule of thumb is to set aside time in blocks of 2-hours and tackle one room at a time. On the other hand, be sure to also give yourself enough time to unpack when you finally make the move to your new downsized home.
Ready to downsize?
Contact Jill Judy
Jill Judy is a Realtor with Windermere Wall St with over 15 years of experience helping Seattle buy and sell their homes. Jill specializes in helping families buy or sell their home, downsize, and manage their estate sales.
When listing your home for sale, your top goals should be to get your house sold quickly and for top dollar.
Follow these 5 tips to get you started on the right path to getting your home sold!
Clean & Unclutter
The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. A clean and decluttered home allows for buyers to not be distracted by messes and instead focus on the parts of your house that they love. Depersonalizing your home has many great benefits, the top one being that it allows potential buyers to picture themselves living in the home.
Tip: Put any furniture/decorations that don’t serve a purpose in storage.
Rooms With Purpose
Giving rooms their own identities will help buyers picture themselves enjoying that room’s functionality. Remember, Don’t overcrowd a room with furniture that is too large for the space; it will only make the room appear small and cramped. If you have a room that serves only to gather junk, repurpose it into something that will add to the value of your home.
Let The Light In
Bright rooms feel warm and inviting. Consider getting rid of any drapes or curtains on your windows that prevent sunlight from reaching the rooms of your home.
For more tips on how to add more light to a room read this -> Tips To Increase Your Homes Natural Light
Stage Your Kitchen To Sell
Store away any non-essential appliances and clean all surfaces.
A successfully staged kitchen looks, feels and smells clean and fresh. Don’t neglect the inside of your cupboards and drawers. If they’re full of stuff you’re sending a message to potential buyers that you don’t have enough storage space.
Fix The Small Stuff
Fix and finish all of your homes small or much-needed improvements. Even small fixes like damaged door handles can devalue your home in the eyes of potential buyers. Enhance your home’s appearance and boost its value.
Small and easy fixes that increase value perception:
→ Fix any squeaks on house or closet doors
→ Replace your light bulb with new ones
→ Make sure all of your light switches work
→ Replace outdated drawer, closet, door knobs
→ Add new light switch plates
→ Upgrade your bathrooms shower nozzles
→ Update all your bathroom fixtures
→ Add a new coat of paint to the interior of your home
Are you close to retirement but not ready to move yet? Are you living in a home that is too big in size and maintenance needs? When you retire would you like to stay in your home or does downsizing and vacation destinations sound like a better option?
The answer for many empty nesters and retirees lies directly in their home equity.
According to the newest Equity Report from CoreLogic, the average homeowner in the United States has seen an estimated $14,000 gain in their home equity in just the last year alone. On the West Coast, where the Real Estate Market is thriving due to the tech industry, homeowners have gained twice that amount, some even more than that!
If you’re unaware or unsure of how much equity your home has earned in recent years, please feel free to take my Free Home Estimate.
In this Seller’s Market, homeowners have the advantage. Especially in Seattle, where supply has yet to catch up to the demand, Homeowners can quickly sell their current house and use the profits from that sale to downsize, relocate, or even enjoy vacations that were once financially impossible.
The sale of your home can allow you to take full advantage of today’s seller’s market, enable you to cash in on the equity your home has built throughout the years, and live a lifestyle relieved of the everyday tasks that come with homeownership.
As the majority of the country currently experiences a seller’s market, a recent study by Edelman Berland reveals that an estimated 33% of homeowners are considering selling their homes in the near future as they plan to scale down. There are several reasons why this might make sense for many homeowners.
A smaller home implies less space; however, it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep.
Let’s assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment. In 30 years, you could have an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years. Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one. Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down! If you can’t pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10–20% down on your new home. Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment. At 3% interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less than 10.5 years, saving almost $16,000 in the process.
You’ve built up enough equity in your current home to make a profit.
For most homeowners, this is the case. Of course, this is only true if the homeowner has held on to their properties for long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home.
Downsizing can offer you a different lifestyle.
For some folks, it’s a matter of living a simpler life focused on family. Some might want to cross off travel destinations on their bucket lists. Some might want a low-maintenance community with high-end upgrades and social events. Decide what you want to achieve from your move first, and you’ll be able to better narrow down your housing options.
If you are currently considering downsizing your home and want to evaluate your options, I am available to guide you and your family on the best housing opportunities available to you now.
Buyers are searching for homes, but supply is not keeping up with their demand!
There are two types of real estate markets: Buyer’s and seller’s markets.
What does this mean for you?
Selling a home in a seller’s market is very different from selling a home in a buyer’s market. Not only will your days on the market be notably fewer, but you might even receive multiple offers on your home, which could drive up your sales price and get you top dollar on your investment.
It’s an excellent idea to take advantage of restrained home supply since it’s the demand that drives competition. The greater the number of potential buyers for your home, the higher the chances are that you’ll make more money.
Another upside to a seller’s market is that homes that would otherwise be difficult to sell in a buyer’s market stand a greater chance of a sale.
Some homeowners believe that once you stick a “For Sale” sign in the front of your yard, the market takes care of the rest. Although it might be easier to sell in a seller’s market, it still takes a lot more to sell a home than hanging a sign out front. It requires strategy.
Top strategy for selling your home in a seller’s market:
Prepare The Home For Sale
Clean, declutter, and make small repairs on your home from top to bottom. Some buyers will overlook little defects in a seller’s market because there are not enough homes on the market and they don’t have many choices. However, your ultimate goal should be to sell your home for as much as you can. This entails having a clean and decluttered home potential buyers could picture themselves calling home. You’d be surprised the difference a fresh coat of paint can make on value perception.
A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words
Once you have your home clean and have taken care of small touch-ups and repairs, your next course of action should be to hire a professional stager. The benefits of staging your home far outweigh the costs that come along with it. Not only will your home look great in photographs but often, it will leave a lasting impression on buyers as they view the home.
Lower The Sales Price
If you set the price a bit below the current market value, this effort will attract more buyers. It also will leave some room for buyers to feel more comfortable bidding above the asking price. Be careful when using this strategy, pricing your home too below its market value, will most likely turn away buyers and decrease the amount of market exposure your home receives.
Set a time for offer review
Let the potential buyers know that you will consider all offers on a specified day and time. Don’t make buyers wait longer than necessary or your strategy could backfire, and they might withdraw the offer.
Review Seller’s Market Offers
After all of the offers are received, make notes on each offer so that you are aware of not just the sales price but other factors such as:
- The amount of the earnest money deposit
- Whether the offer is all cash or if finance & the proposed type of financing
- Amount of down payment
- Waiver of standard buyer inspections or contingencies
- Seller costs, including proposal to pay the buyer’s closing costs
- Unusual requests or allowances
- Some buyers will send photographs of themselves, often including their pets or their children. They might write letters to the seller, talking about why they want to buy the home and sharing a bit of personal information.
Buyers are searching for their new home right now! If you are considering selling your home this year, the early months of 2018 will be your best option. Contact me today to capitalize on current market conditions and get top dollar for your home.
During their home sale, every homeowner wants to make sure they receive the best possible price for their home. Here are two key tips to ensure you get just that.
1. Make The Price Right
Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house. Over pricing, a home can not only reduce your home’s market exposure as fewer people will attend your open houses but can also negatively impact your homes online marketing strategy as other comparable homes would be priced at a lower price point. Price your home fairly, and instead of negotiating with one or a handful of buyers on pricing you might find yourself having multiple buyers fighting with each other over your house. One of the biggest assets a home has when on sale is the amount of exposure it receives, don’t hurt your marketing efforts because you didn’t price your home correctly. Partner with your real estate agent or research comparable homes in your neighborhood and choose the best pricing strategy.
2. Use a Real Estate Professional
This may seem counterintuitive. As a seller, you may think that you would be able to net more money if you didn’t have to pay a real estate agent commission. However, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional. Why is this? Realtors help people buy and sell homes for a living. They’re experts at negotiation, marketing, and presenting your home to the audience. When it comes to big investments, don’t cut the wrong corners, choose an expert.
Price your house correctly and hire a professional. These two strategies will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house.