Downsizing Issues

Downsizing Issues for Seniors

When interviewing with a senior to list their home, I ask them what their most important considerations and concerns are about selling their home. Most are looking for an agent they feel they can trust and with whom they have the right “chemistry.”

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Selling is Stressful for Anyone—Especially Seniors

Seniors often feel overwhelmed at the thought of dealing with decades of accumulated things and associated memories. Many are anxious about open houses, security, disclosures, liabilities, and the emotional stress caused just by thinking of all the related issues.

A major issue for most seniors is where they can move to. Sometimes that is resolved by finding single-level living in a low-maintenance context, ideally near relatives or friends.  As property taxes often pose a concern, alternative locations can be narrowed down by considering the counties that enable carrying their current property taxes forward to the new residence.

Seniors may need assistance in getting their property ready for the most effective marketing to reach the buyer who will pay the highest price. This can include handling minor repairs, offering the services of an estate sale expert, and/or possibly enlisting a packing and organizing company to help them sift through their belongings.

The desire to sell and move is complicated by their emotional attachment issues.  Therefore, it can take seniors much longer to adjust to the changing reality of their situation, and an experienced agent will be able to patiently help them work through the process.

Tips to Help With the Anxiety of Moving

The downsizing process can be both energizing and anxiety-creating at the same time. One way to alleviate some of this anxiety is to map out the entire preparation, marketing, showing, negotiating, escrow, and moving process for them. It makes it easier and less overwhelming when the senior can clearly see and understand how well each phase can be managed and at a pace that is comfortable for them. A resourceful agent who has handled dozens of senior moves is often able to help maintain a calm and positive atmosphere from the beginning to the conclusion of the move.

Although the process may not be entirely stress-free, it can be most helpful for the agent to be empathetic, supportive, and reassuring. It requires great patience and understanding and making every effort to provide whatever level of service will make the process as easy as possible for the seniors.

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