I really wish baby boomers understood that the 3 easy steps to downsizing your home aren’t as simple as putting the sign in the yard, the lockbox on the front door, and the photos on the internet.
The real work comes long before the selling part has anything to do with it. As the owner of Overland Park Home Staging since 2006, we get lots of calls from people who want to stage their house.
Trouble is, the home staging comes in the second step. They have to do Step 1. Why is home downsizing so difficult?
Did you know that 1 in every 11 Americans rent off-site storage and spend at least $1,000 a year to keep stuff they don’t even know what it is? Selling your home has become difficult because people just keep buying more stuff without eliminating the old.
The 3 Easy Steps to Downsizing Your Home
There are actually 3 steps to downsizing your home. Even if you’re not thinking of selling anytime soon, it’s important to get the first two steps of selling complete while you still feel like it. After all, you probably aren’t going to feel younger, be more adept, in better health or have more energy as time goes on.
Step 1 – Declutter Your Life to Downsize Your Home
The first stage is knowing where you will be moving. You may not have thought much about it yet. If you are still living in the big family home, it’s probably time to get settled into a home that will serve you well as you age.
You may not know exactly where you will move but you should have an idea of the amount of space you’ll have in your new place. For example, if you are moving to a 2 bedroom apartment, you probably will only need one couch…not the three you have in your current home.
Knowing your space will then help you eliminate things you currently own. This will help you Declutter Your Life to Downsize Your Home. Once you decide what you’ll take with you, what will you do with the things you aren’t taking? Will you give them to friends or family members, donate to a non-profit that helps the less fortunate or will you have an estate sale?
Step 2 – Preparing Your Home for Sale
The second step of downsizing your home is preparing it for the market. The days of putting the sign in the yard without any preparation are over. Today’s buyers want turn-key ready and are willing to fight over the right house with the Model Home Look. So, prior to selling you need to spruce things up and it will pay you big rewards if you do.
The average seller needs to do a little painting, fixing, updating the things you’ve been putting off all these years. But now is the time to make those repairs – especially if you want top dollar for your home. Talk to a real estate professional (like me) who is experienced and specializes in working with downsizing baby boomers and has a sense of style and knows what’s trending in today’s homes. A little bit of an upfront investment will be worth the time and effort.
Choose your agent carefully and create a list of updates that won’t cost you an arm and leg but will be a great return on investment when it’s time to sell. Go ahead and get those things done now so you’ll be ready when the time comes. Your real estate professional may have a list of vendors that can help get the various jobs done.
Step 3 – Selling Your Home
And finally, the third step of downsizing your home is actually selling your home. This will entail a thorough cleaning, home staging, photo shoot, showing your house, receiving the contracts, negotiating the multiple offers, getting through inspections and the appraisal and firming up where you are moving. The move out is the last part of selling your home.
Be sure you understand the difference between a Home Staging Consultation and an actual hands-on Home Staging. The Home Staging Consultation will be a walkthrough of your house and the stager will provide you with a list of things for you to do to the house before it comes on the market…paint the kitchen, change out the dining room fixture, move that chair out of the living room, etc.
The hands-on Home Staging is where the stager actually does the work and sets your home up with The Model Home Look using your own furniture and accessories so it looks fabulous for its Professional Photo Shoot. You will be surprised with the difference it makes when your home looks like a Model Home.
Home Staging is proven to sell homes faster, with multiple offers and for thousands of dollars over asking price. You do want the most money, don’t you?
When You Wait too Long
What I encounter over and over is that people wait too long to start the process of eliminating their things. After all, why do it before you have to? Most people tend to avoid it because it’s sooo much WORK!
And are you also avoiding making the updates and repairs until you are ready to sell? Why not make some updates now so you’ll reap the benefits of enjoying what you’ve done? It’s like putting new tires on your car to be able to sell it. Why did you wait so long?
Have you even thought about what’s next as a baby boomer? Do you want to live a great 3rd act or will you just sit and dwindle away? Either way is ok. But let me ask you…what would you do and where would you go if you could leave today?
You’ve got to be honest with yourself and plan your future now. Your next move to your 3rd act in life is probably going to be the biggest and hardest yet. And you may not feel like doing it. That doesn’t give you the excuse not to. But when you know you will move at some later date and you do nothing to prepare, it’s typically too late. Then what? Who is going to come to your rescue? Do they know you are expecting them to bail you out?
What’s Your End Result?
Until you’ve gone through the declutter to downsize experience, you won’t know how it really feels.
Just ask anyone who has already done it. They will tell you that you will:
- Feel freedom you never knew was possible
- Be ready for retirement when it’s time
- Live the easy life in a home that really serves you and soothes your soul
- Relax and do what you want, when you want
- Have more time to travel
- Deserve doing what you want
- Live large in a smaller space
- Know you’ve earned it
- Have time to work on your legacy
- Live an outrageous 3rd act
The day I woke up and said, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore was the day my life changed. Remember the movie, Network from 1976? I didn’t open the window and yell it to my neighbors but I certainly felt much like it! What I finally realized was there was much more to life than living in a home that no longer served me and was holding me captive.
If you are a baby boomer and still haven’t started your journey, what are you waiting for?
Are You Ready to Downsize Your Home?
I have a couple of options for you…
- You can join my Facebook group page for downsizing baby boomers and get started for fun or
- If you’ve decided to make the commitment to declutter your life to downsize your home, the Declutter to Downsize Challenge 2021 may be right for you. It’s a 12 month, day-to-day system and commitment from you to eliminate the things you no longer want or need. Check it out here.
Whatever you decide, your future is waiting for you. As a baby boomer, you’ve got a few great years left. Live life to the fullest and simplify your life rather than living in a home that no longer serves you and babysitting things you no longer want or need.
For more information about selling, buying, staging, or downsizing your home in Overland Park, call or text (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.