Many Baby Boomers are rightsizing their homes as they retire, choosing to move into continuing care retirement communities like Deupree House. At such retirement communities, they won’t have to hassle with upkeep and property taxes, they can spend time socializing with their age peers and they know their health needs will be well looked after as they age.
Home sales are also an excellent way to shore up retirement nest eggs. The real estate market has rebounded a fair amount since 2008’s housing crash and Great Recession, and many Boomers are cashing out equity while they can.
Many real estate agents advise their clients that spring is the best time to list a home. Before you do, you should do some pre-sale legwork to ensure you’ll get the best deal. If you’re a senior living in Cincinnati who is considering selling your home this year, here are three things you should do before you list.
1. Research the local real estate market
What’s the value of your home relative to other properties in the area? If your home is significantly undervalued or overvalued, find out why. Either condition could keep you from closing.
If your property is overvalued, you may need to work with your real estate agent to come up with a marketing plan that would entice buyers to splurge a bit, or you may need to rework the math and temper your profit expectations.
If your home is undervalued relative to neighboring properties, you could take out a home equity line and make improvements to increase its value, as long as you could reasonably expect those improvements to pay for themselves at sale.
Just be sure to consult first with your real estate agent, who will have a good idea what buyers in your area are looking for. You don’t want to shell out on a home improvement that won’t move the needle.
Increasing your home’s value might not even require major investment. It might be as simple a matter as freshening up the paint, trim and landscaping. A reputable realtor would be able to advise you on the most cost-effective ways of improving your home’s value.
2. Clear up liabilities, liens and property disputes
Nothing will kill a potential sale faster than an entanglement. If you owe on the mortgage, if there’s a tax lien on your home or if you’re in a dispute with your county, city, township, your neighbors or neighborhood association, you need to have a clear picture of what it would take to clear things up.
If you have any unresolved property disputes, you have a responsibility to communicate them — honestly and transparently — to any potential buyer.
3. Take a lot of pictures
Wait for a sunny, beautiful day, then take plenty of pictures of your home’s exterior and yard, to use in marketing your sale. Make sure your home is painted, that there are no major cosmetic flaws and that the yard and landscape appear well-maintained.
Don’t forget, too, to tidy up and take pictures of your home’s interior. You might even want to temporarily move furniture out of each room and paint the walls before you take interior pictures — they’ll help your buyer envision him- or herself living in the residence.
Make sure your pictures are properly lit and well-composed. Pay special attention to your home’s front entrance, the bathrooms and the kitchen.
Sell before you buy
If you’re a Cincinnati senior thinking about listing your home this year and moving into a retirement community, it’s a good idea to know where you’d like to live. But don’t sign a lease before your home sells — you don’t want to be on the hook for an additional payment and put yourself under undue closing pressures.
Take the three steps listed above to prepare for your home sale and assure yourself of realizing the best possible deal.
And, in the meantime, visit local retirement communities to see where you’d like to live. Interested in Deupree House? Click here to contact us and schedule your personalized tour. We’d be happy to host you!