The Cost of Waiting to Downsize Your Home

In real estate there is always the cost of waiting. The biggest issue is because you’re not ready. The same holds true for downsizing baby boomers. You tell yourself you’re not ready to move yet. In all actuality, you’re not even close to being ready to move.

I talk about this all the time. It’s the 3 phases of selling your home. Most of the selling your home process is in getting ready. And it takes the average baby boomer months to be ready.

When the Cost of Waiting Becomes Urgent

On the 4th of July, I had a call before 9:00 a.m. from a lady that wanted to know if I could meet with her within the next hour. Those calls are the desperate downsizers that will end up doing the wrong thing, with the wrong people if they aren’t careful.

So, in an effort to save her from her own self, I agreed to stop by her house at 10:30 for an initial paid consultation.

The No Surprise Consultation

Nothing surprises me. After all, I’ve been selling real estate for 35 years and doing home staging for 15 years. When I ask people how ready they are to put the for sale sign in the yard, they always lie. Well, they don’t mean to lie. They just aren’t being realistic or honest with themselves. They usually tell me on a scale of 1-10, they are around a 7 or 8. That number better represents how many months or sometimes years it’s going to take for them to really be ready to put the sign in the yard.

This lady was ready though. It was like she woke up that morning and a bolt of lightning shot through her. When I asked how she found me she said she googled how to get started downsizing and there I was.

Yep. I’m here, there, and everywhere. I’ve done it, I currently live large in a small space and I am settled in for my final chapter. The question is, are you?

Just a Typical Baby Boomer

Linda was no different than anyone else her age. She was still in the big 2 story, in south Overland Park. She’d been there for over 20 years and her house was loaded. There was a path from the front door into the kitchen. She told me over the phone that the door would be unlocked and to let myself in.

As I announced my arrival, I almost couldn’t find her sitting in a chair across the 1st floor. There was so much stuff I couldn’t see past the path ahead of me. After touring part of her house, we ended up back at the kitchen where I offered her one of my programs to manage her move. She not only needed some guidance on what to do when but also needed someone to box the stuff up and haul it off. And then there was the accountability part of it. After some add-ons to my Move Management Program I designed years ago, we came up with something that would work for her. After all, she had so many health issues, she knew she was never going to get out of there without someone else physically doing the work for her.

By the end of our appointment, I had removed all of the items that were above the kitchen cabinets. You know the ones. They’ve been there for years, are so dirty, dusty, and grimy from kitchen grease it’s embarrassing. I loaded them into my car for donation and we scheduled our next appointment.

The Cost of Waiting – Priceless

Linda is a perfect example of somebody who is now experiencing the cost of waiting. Her health has deteriorated and now prohibits her from being on her feet for over about 15 minutes at any given time. Little did she know a year ago, this change in her health would ever occur. After all, she was a vibrant business owner in her early 70’s and had lots of years left. And then she got the diagnosis from her doctor.

Her cost of waiting is now costing her in dollars. She didn’t start the decluttering to downsize when she should have, and has no family in town (not that they WANT to help). Her only option is to pay someone to help her get rid of years of stuff.

The Good News

The cost of waiting for her comes down to the fact that she’s now ready. I believe she has finally faced the fact that the good days are behind her. She knows her health will not improve, she will never be able to box anything up on her own or get anything out of her house without help.

Her health scare motivated her beyond belief. She knows her days are numbered and she wants to be ready to move when the time comes. Linda isn’t ready to move just yet but might be by the time we get all of the clutter out of her house. She is my perfect client and would benefit so much from any one of my downsizing baby boomer programs. Trouble is, the cost of waiting has affected her as it does so many. She waited too long and is now unable to do the work.

What’s Your Plan?

Linda and I put our heads together and came up with a program that will work for now.  At the end of the day, we’re both good with our agreement knowing full well that things could change at any time. After all, it’s not how it’s going to happen, it’s more about getting the job done so you can be ready for that next chapter.

There’s no better time to assess where you are in your life and your own downsizing experience. If nothing else, I hope you are participating in “The House Weight Loss Plan” on Facebook. It’s a year-long program and is totally FREE! While that’s not as detailed as one of my paid programs, it’s a great start to rid your life and your house of things you no longer want or need.

What About You?

Do you feel like you’ve waited too long to downsize? What are you going to do about it? You can take charge of your future or do nothing. It’s your next chapter and your decision. You can take charge of it or leave it for someone else to do. If you’d like to have a conversation to see if you’re making the right decisions for your own personal situation, call or text me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

3 Easy Steps to Downsizing Your Home

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…

  1. You can join my Facebook group page for downsizing baby boomers and get started for fun or
  2. If you’ve decided to make the commitment to declutter your life to downsize your home, the Declutter to Downsize Challenge 2024 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. Coming in 2024.

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.

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