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Downsizing your home - Part I: Selling

Date posted:  5/4/16 10:45:00 AM

If your children have officially moved out, your home may have space you no longer need. Downsizing your home can be a smart financial move that will help you save money and simplify your life.

Money Crashers noted trimming down living space saves you money on your mortgage, and can eliminate unnecessary "stuff" in your life. Having extra space makes it easier to spend money on more belongings that fill that space, so downsizing can be a great technique for improving your current spending habits.

In addition, by downsizing, you can hold a garage sale to sell the items you no longer have room for and make a little money before moving to a new place.

Below are some helpful tips for selling your old home and investing in a more appropriately sized place.

Market your home to today's buyers 
The modern buyer is using various platforms to browse available homes. To reach the widest audience, you should post information about the house on multiple platforms. Even social media sites serve as a unique way to connect to more interested buyers.

Enlisting the help of a professional is also essential for selling a house quickly. Real estate agents can offer valuable experience and have access to other interested buyers. In addition, these individuals can:

  • Host open houses
  • Help you time when to sell your home
  • Understand the tax implications of selling a house
  • Determine current market conditions

Upgrade and repair 
According to HGTV, you must dress up your home and invest in a few upgrades and repairs to appeal to those searching for a new home. However, also ensure the upgrades you invest in are not too excessive. Know the neighborhood and what buyers are expecting from your home. For example, if surrounding listings have kitchens with newer features, investing in an updated kitchen is worthwhile. However, if spa bathrooms or finished basements are not typical, spending money on upgrades in these spaces may not be worthwhile.

Any spaces or appliances that are broken must be repaired before the house goes on the market. If you don't repair or replace broken appliances, you may not appeal to as many potential buyers. Individuals do not want to invest in a new house that requires a great deal of work — move-in ready is preferred.

Invest in staging 
Staging your house is a great technique for appealing to a higher number of interested buyers. While hiring a professional to transform your home may be a great solution, there are more affordable ways to improve the interior of your house.

According to Forbes, one inexpensive way to make your house seem larger and improve lighting is to hang mirrors in the space.

"Collages of small mirrors are very inexpensive to buy at home or discount stores," Melissa Barronton, a professional redesigner, according to Forbes. "And when placed together, they'll appear to double the size of a space."

You will also want to replace your personal pictures with unique and interesting pieces of artwork. You want buyers to envision themselves living in the space, so you'll need to create a space that appeals to as many people as possible.

"And that's really hard to do when pictures of you are everywhere," Barronton added. So adding unique pieces of art and replacing photos is key. "They will show up well in listing photos, and also create a focal point for your home."

You may also want to consider repainting the walls of your home a more neutral pallet. This is an affordable way to lighten up the space and give the interior a fresh new look. 

Don't forget about landscaping 
Because the colder months can wreak havoc on your lawn and exterior, it's critical to give the outside of your home a little attention prior to listing your home. Whether you need to mulch the garden beds or replace the fence, take a weekend to pump up the curb appeal. 

Changing out the front door or adding a fresh coat of paint can also be inexpensive ways to attract more buyers. Remember, the exterior of the home is the first impression interested homebuyers will have. 

Selling your house is the first step toward downsizing and saving money, so knowing how to appeal to the highest number of buyers is critical.