13 Jul 2018

How to Avoid the Traps of Selling a Home When Retired

Selling a home can be challenging enough at the best of times, but for those who are retired and ready to move on, the task can easily become a trap for rookie players. Letting go of the family home is hard and many retirees struggle to come to terms with the process. This means that mistakes are often made which can have devastating consequences on the sale of the property. To ease the transition into the next chapter of your life, make sure you avoid these five common mistakes retirees make when selling a home.


Pricing too high

We all have an emotional attachment to our home, especially one we’ve lived in for many years and made wonderful memories in, but unfortunately, sentimental value holds no weight in the property market. While you may think your home is worth a pretty penny, the key to a successful sale is to look at it objectively and be realistic about the price. An overpriced property can sit on the market for a long time, and if the price alone isn’t enough to discourage buyers, the lengthy listing duration will. You can’t fool your buyers. They have a general idea of what they should pay for a property, as they have probably been looking at similar homes in the area and know what has sold and for how much. Houses that sit idle for too long tend to stagnate in buyer interest, as it creates the perception that something is wrong with it. Instead, take a step back and try to view your house through fresh eyes. What are its good points? Are there areas that need work? Have a chat with your agent and find out how your property compares to similar homes in the market. Real estate agents are experienced professionals who have market knowledge, insight and intuition, and know how to price your home competitively. So be sure to take their advice on board if you’re serious about selling.


Keeping everything just as it’s always been

You may think your place looks homely and inviting, and perhaps it does… to you. The problem is, prospective buyers need to be able to picture themselves, their family and their belongings in your home. It’s hard for them to imagine living their lives inside your walls when they’re plastered with family photos, artwork and other knick-knacks. Remove all items of sentimental value and personal touches, including photographs, drawings on the refrigerator, or other prized collections. Not only does this help the buyer fall in love with your property, it’s also a sensible way of avoiding damages or potential security issues.


Resisting open inspections

The idea of allowing complete strangers into your home is foreign and, for some, even a little unsettling. But don’t stress, everything will be okay! It’s all part of the process and you need to accept that if you want your home to sell, you’re going to have to make it accessible and agree to showings. Depending on whether you’re doing private inspections or a scheduled open house, it’s a good idea to make sure that your house is kept in a neat and tidy state during the time it’s on the market. You never know when that serious buyer will call, so be ready to present your house in its most positive light at all times.


Hanging around during the open house

Let’s be clear… this is very awkward. Do you really want to watch people wandering around your home as you bare your inner space for all to see? Having your house on display like that can make you feel rather uncomfortable, and quite frankly, buyers may feel a little voyeuristic about it, too. Go out for coffee or take a walk. Be anywhere except hovering around your home. Buyers are much more likely to ask the hard questions, clarify issues, and express an honest opinion if they are free to speak to the agent without the owner being present.


Selling at the wrong time

The market is never static and is very much governed by demand. Sometimes the market is better geared towards sellers, other times for buyers. So if it’s a buyers’ market and you’re not in a rush, consider holding off just a little longer. While it’s almost impossible to predict exactly what the market will do and when, your agent will be able to guide and advise you on when might be the best time for selling a home in your area.


Selling a home when retired doesn’t have to be the overwhelming nightmare you imagine it to be, and avoiding these five common mistakes will certainly reduce your stress and worries. Just find yourself a good agent, take a breath and trust in the process. You will be fine.


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