Selling Your House During an Economic Downturn

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This article was contributed by Diane Krause.

For the last few years, many homeowners have been keeping an eye on the real estate market and waiting for signs of improvement before considering a move. Newspaper headlines and TV reports scream doom and gloom but that data is generally compiled from broad regional and national markets and doesn’t always consider your local real estate market. There are many areas in which homes that are priced right and show well are selling quickly! However, there is no clear picture as to when there will be an overall upturn in the real estate and financial markets. This uncertainty has caused many to delay downsizing to a smaller home or settling into a retirement community. Often, ‘quality of life’ circumstances may dictate that your need to make a lifestyle change now may be of greater importance than the current real estate climate.

Selling Your Home: Is Waiting the Right Choice?

You may still be living in the home you purchased years ago to be in a particular school district or close to your employment. Ask yourself if the lifestyle you seek includes the burden of homeownership such as maintenance plus paying for ever-increasing taxes. What about transportation, food shopping and preparation? Snow! Healthcare?

Health is a major consideration. If you are considering a move to a CCRC and you qualify for independent living now, will you qualify in a few years? You may not feel “ready” but life changes can occur suddenly. How do you value the security of being settled and having the sale of your house behind you?

If it’s time for you or an aging loved one to move don’t compromise your safety and security. Selling your home may not be as hard as you think.

Determine your next steps

Meet with your family and other trusted sources to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of moving now. Remember, waiting for next spring does not guarantee a better market; it simply means you’re waiting. No one knows what the future holds. If the information on the table indicates it’s time to move, then don’t hesitate. Sit down with a senior real estate specialist, develop a plan and get moving.

Hire a Realtor that Specializes in Working with Seniors

The Senior Real Estate Specialist, SRES®, designation is offered to Realtors through the National Association of Realtors. SRES designees are real estate agents that specialize in senior needs and can ease the transition by having years of experience in helping seniors downsize. They can help you explore your housing options, use their expertise and industry knowledge to provide an honest assessment of your property and make suggestions for improving its saleability. They will develop a pricing and marketing strategy and use their team of resources to sell your home for the most money and get you moved with the least stress. www.sres.org

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors offers the Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) designation. This designation is available to anyone who offers professional services to seniors. The CSA requirements are more comprehensive and rigorous than the SRES requirements. In addition the designee is required to undergo ongoing ethics education and must commit to ongoing volunteer hours working with seniors. www.society-csa.com

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