Selling a house can be a difficult and challenging task and for seniors, it can even be more strenuous. It’s a dilemma that many seniors face, when they must decide to let go of their long-time house and downsize into a more manageable home, move in with loved ones or transition into a retirement community. It’s difficult enough for families to convince their elderly loved ones to sell their house, it’s even more difficult to move forward when they’ve finally decided. After all, their house isn’t just their most valuable asset, it’s their pride and joy.

Whatever the reason they have for selling their house, seniors are a unique demographic in the Canadian real estate market. For instance, in 2016, only 5.5% of seniors aged 65 to 74 years old had moved from their place of residence.

And while real estate listings are full of newly-built and younger homes, seniors are often found in situations where they need to exert more effort, in many situations, being faced with health issues while having to sell their house to help ease their cash flow during retirement, downsize the size of the home for easier upkeep or they may be eagerly awaiting a move to a warmer climate.

6 Tips for Seniors Selling their House

1. Be sure to know the market value of your house

Seniors usually live in their homes for a very long time when the time has come that they’ve finally decided to sell and this can make it difficult to determine the property’s current value. When you put your house up for sale, you’ll want to be knowledgeable about current house prices, specifically the recently sold in the area. When sellers fail to do so, they risk selling their property for much less for what it’s really worth.

2. Work with senior-friendly professionals

A DIY sale makes you responsible for everything and it makes the entire process 10 times more stressful. Instead, work with an experienced and trustworthy local realtor. A great realtor stays up-to-date on the latest trends, market data and has an in-depth knowledge of the area and surrounding neighbourhoods.

If you ever have a concern, be sure to check with a trusted friend, family member or advisor to ensure things are what they seem to be and it’s always a good habit to ask for references so that you may speak to them personally. Unfortunately, seniors are a demographic that do get taken advantage of.

3. Declutter, organize and put belongings into storage if needed

A home full of clutter’s a major turn-off. For seniors, especially those who’ve lived in their homes for decades, clutter may be a real issue. The best advice is to declutter and get organized. Many opt for storage units to put their personal belongings in while their property is on the market or to hold onto items that they don’t want to let go of. Keep in mind, there’s a better chance of your house garnering more views from potential buyers and being sold sooner when it has clean and minimalist decors during open houses and showings.

4. Make small repairs where needed

For seniors who have lived in their houses for a while, there’s a pretty good chance a few repairs and upgrades may need to be completed before it can go on the market. While some are up for the task, others may opt to call their kids or hire professional help. Depending on the scale of repairs, you’ll want to consider a professional contractor for larger projects or a handyman for more minor repairs, such as leaky faucets or squeaky floor boards. These details could make your property stand out among the other hundreds of real estate listings.

5. Level up the curb appeal

For seniors, levelling up the curb appeal to where it creates a strong first impression to attract potential buyers is oftentimes a hardship as it requires hiring someone to do the more physical work that a senior may not be capable of doing. Having freshly cut grass, trimmed bushes and trees will ensure a neat and clean appearance. Container plants can add considerable interest and splashes of colour to patios and doorways while nothing spruces up a garden bed like a fresh application of mulch. When a home has strong curb appeal, would-be buyers are more interested in what can be on the inside.

6. Prepare your emotions

Whether or not you’ve already followed the tips above, your emotions will be high when you finally put your house for sale. This may have been the house where you’ve raised your kids or this may have been your life’s greatest investment; thus, saying goodbye can be difficult with so many memories. When you or your senior loved ones are having a hard time adjusting, remind them of why they’re doing this and the plans they have for the future. This can help them to better cope, have something to focus on and look forward to.

Let’s Make It Easy: Sell to an iBuyer

If getting your property ready to be sold on the market seems like a daunting task and you’d rather just have the property sold quickly without the hassles, there’s a solution to that.
Introducing iBuyers. iBuyers typically offer a cash payment based on market data and other tools. If you agree with their offer, the deal can close in just a few days. When dealing with iBuyers, be assured that it’s a guaranteed deal.

This trend is gaining traction nowadays due to its quickness, efficiency and the fact that the property can be sold ‘as is’.

Seniors can have many different reasons to sell their house. And more often than not, their need to sell is urgent. These selling tips for seniors are a great way to help them prepare to sell their house and move on to the next chapter in their lives. Take the time and due diligence to determine if you’re ready to sell and then utilize these 6 practical tips to make the most of the selling process.

We’re Here to Help!

Jellyfish Real Estate’s a team of real estate professionals. Our goal is to simplify your life, so you can spend less time worrying about real estate and more time enjoying life.

If you’d like to learn more about real estate or if you have any questions or concerns about selling your property, buying your next home, opting to rent or rent-to-own, visit our website or contact us today.