Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 22, 2016

Tips on downsizing

REALTOR Association President's Message

Nathan Walldorf

Most people in the Baby Boomer Generation (born between 1936 and 1964) are downsizing or will be in the not-too-distant future. When they first bought, most Baby Boomers loved big homes that now are more space than they need or are unable to maintain. Thus, this week, I will share with you four tips that will help make your downsizing move easier.

Get rid of what you don’t need: If you have a large house now, all your belongings will not fit into a smaller house later. As soon as you get serious about downsizing, start decluttering. When you do put your house on the market, you will want your closets, rooms, attics, and basements to be clutter free. Perhaps the kids can use some of the furniture that you don’t want to take to your next house. Kid not interested? Let someone else benefit – call Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, which can pick-up items someone else can use in their home.

Call the estate sale professionals sooner rather than later: You might have valuables you want to sell instead of give away. In that case, call an estate sale professional early in the process. It can take time to plan for and schedule an estate sale, so you need to get on their schedule. Taking this step early on not only helps with decluttering, but when you do get an offer on your house, you’ll be ready to move in a reasonable amount of time (30 to 45 days).

Have a Realtor help you evaluate and stage your home: All sellers aim to get the most money for their house. That money will come in handy as you downsize by helping to pay for the next house and part of your retirement. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the median sale price for homes sold by Realtors was 15.7 percent higher than homes sold by home owners themselves. That difference is potentially less than what you might pay a Realtor to sell your house.

When walking through your house to evaluate it for the current market, your Realtor will also give you tips on how to make the house look its best. Suggestions sometimes include furniture rearrangement or removal, repairs, and even possible updates to make. The NAR’s 2015 Profile of Home Staging says 32 percent of buyers’ agents believe staging a home increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by one to five percent. Listen to your Realtor – doing a little work to prepare your home to sell does pay off.

Have your Realtor help you find your next home as you get closer to accepting a contract on your current home: It can get tricky balancing moving out of your current house with moving into your new home. Your Realtor can help negotiate your home sale and purchase in a way that gets you into your new home at the same time as you are closing on your old home.

Call a Realtor today to help guide you through your home sale and purchase. You do not want to trust the sale of your home or the purchase of your home to an amateur. And be sure not to miss Greater Chattanooga Open House Weekend happening April 23-24. Preview homes and enter to win $150! Details available at www.gcar.net.

The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors is “The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.” The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,500 members, and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net.