Whatever the reason for selling a home, and whatever phase of life a seller is in, it can be stressful.    When you’re a senior citizen, particularly one who has lived in a home for many years, the thought of selling can be daunting.  Your home may need some upgrades and updates to compete in the current market and offer the amenities that buyers are insisting upon.  There may be repairs that should be done prior to listing the home.  Here are some tips to keep in mind to help get your home sold quickly, at a great price, while avoiding as many bumps in the road as possible!

Top on the List - Work with a Real Estate Agent!

Work with a local real estate agent who comes highly recommended by friends, family or neighbors.  If you’ve lived in the same place for many years, you likely have seen For Sale and Sold signs for the same agent or two over and over again.  That’s because they have the pulse of the market and the knowledge of the area to get your house sold.  There are many agents who come and go or who sell only a couple properties a year.  You want someone who can show you market trends and current home values, and negotiate strongly on your behalf.  Don’t trust your most important transaction to someone who isn’t top notch in the business.  You don’t want to be left sweating the details; that’s our job!

The Carroll Group is well prepared with an extensive team of professionals who can help get your home in tip-top shape before it hits the market! 

1.  Determine Your Goals

Emotions are always heightened when you are selling a home, particularly one that has been your home for many years.  Saying goodbye to all those memories can be difficult.   Be sure you looking at the long term benefits of moving, and are ready to sell your home with no regrets.   Work with your agent to establish your end goal.  Do you want to downsize to a condo?  Are you looking into Senior Housing options such as 55+ developments or Assisted Living complexes?  Are you going to move in with family?  Do you want to stay local or move to another state?  We can help you explore your options and determine the best course of action.  

2.  Start Small for Big Returns

Make small repairs where needed.  We will walk through your home to find the items that should be addressed prior to listing.  One of the biggest obstacles for seniors who are selling homes is that buyers may consider these homes a “fixer upper.”  To head off that impression, do those small deferred maintenance type jobs that you may have put off.  Replace a leaking faucet, patch holes in the drywall where something was once hanging, have the furnace serviced, replace missing screens and install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that are up to current code requirements.  These are small things, but if they aren’t done they can look like big red flags to buyers.  We have professionals on our team who can make these repairs for you. 

3.  Declutter, Depersonalize – and Consider Staging

There is nothing more disappointing for buyers than to walk into a home full of family photos, collectibles and so much furniture that it is overwhelming to the senses and makes it impossible to see the bones of the home. Get rid of that clutter now!  Ask friends and family if there are items they would like to have, then we will get to work!  We can help you with sorting through your “stuff” to determine what to keep, what to donate, what to sell and what to toss.  Our staging team can quickly assess what will make your home look clean, fresh and current.  They do everything from sorting your items to painting, replacing flooring, changing countertops and more!  They will suggest a variety of options and price points so you can decide how much or how little you’d like to have done.

4.  Curb Appeal Makes a First - and Lasting - Impression

Curb appeal has a major impact on buyers’ opinions of your home and its condition.  If your home is appealing from the street, buyers will be more interested in what’s inside!  Outdated and overgrown shrubs and plantings can be an immediate turn off, so make sure everything is neatly trimmed and away from the foundation.  Some new mulch and a freshly painted front door and shutters – and a pot or two of flowers near the entry – will go a long way.

5.  Beware of Those Who Will Take Advantage of You

Seniors are preferred prey for many unscrupulous people.  Be wary of people who randomly contact you with offers to buy your house for cash.  These offers almost always result in sellers receiving much less than their home is worth.  If it sounds too good to be true…well, you know how that goes!

If you decide to advertise items for sale yourself, arrange to meet buyers in a public spot if at all possible.  Many police departments suggest meeting in their parking lot to transact a sale.  For large items such as furniture that you can’t put in your vehicle, you’ll need to provide your address.  Be sure someone else is at the house with you when a buyer comes to pick up the item, and preferably make the appointment during daylight hours.  Don’t offer any unnecessary information to strangers; for instance, that you live alone or the house will be vacant.  Safety should always be a top priority!

6.  Utilize Our Concierge Service

As part of our Concierge Service, if you don’t have free cash available to make repairs or updates, or do staging, we can arrange to cover the cost for you until your home sells.