Senior Home Seller? Here’s The Solution!
A Silver Group blog series by: Victoria B. Hathaway, Guest Contributor, Director of Silver Group of Bob Lucido Team of Keller Williams Integrity
Did you know that over the next two decades, “Boomers” will swell the nation’s older adult population by 30 million, and an estimated 16 million older adult households will be moving in the next decade?
If you are an older adult who is thinking about a downsize for your possessions and your home, doing the downsize, preparing your home for sale, selling your home and deciding where to move can feel like a very daunting project. Knowing what to do first and having detailed information about vendors and resources are the keys to a safe and successful experience.
When I am called upon for a consultation, the area expert real estate agent from my team and I both attend. We cover a wide range of topics, usually spending at least two hours, and frequently longer, in order to answer all questions and to provide specific resources. My role is not to be the Agent, the Move Manager, the Stager, or the Estate Seller. I am a navigator, resource person, if you want to feel fancy I can be a Concierge.
Let’s take a look at the process, step-by-step, to examine how you, the home seller, would experience a listing consultation and how we keep a focus on teamwork on your behalf, with my goal being for you to get the full benefit of my personal and professional learning curve, and the chance that together we might discover some things that “you don’t know you don’t know”!
Step 1: Getting Started
Choosing The Right Agent:
I recommend that if you have the time and energy, you should take advantage of having multiple presentations by Agents. The benefit of understanding that different Agents have different personalities, experience, expertise and marketing budgets cannot be underestimated for the good of you as the Seller. Listing a home is a specialty all its own, involving guidance for pricing, preparing the home for Buyers, marketing it, advocating for the Seller through the home inspection and appraisal, and negotiating the contract against the Buyer, which is totally different from the specialty of being a BUYER Agent. Make sure to ask what makes the Agent “different” and what makes their firm “better”?! Marketing budgets, accolades and awards, years of experience, value-added services such as free staging and moving trucks, and researching the length of the listing contract (the range from a 24-hour cancellation policy to several months locked into the contract are the norm) are specific items that can and should be deciding factors when you are making the decision about whom to hire for this very important process.
In a home visit, the Agent will be able to personally assess the condition of your home (it may be out-of-date, fully updated or something in between) as well as any structural improvements, additions or needed repairs as they help to guide you in pricing your home accurately. Seeing your home enables your Agent to share guidance about various paths to selling, including selling as-is, refreshed, or completely renovated, and the pluses and minuses of each. This is the time when the Agent should make specific recommendations for what to repair and replace and help you to understand how each of these paths affect pricing, expectations for the selling timetable, and how Buyers are most likely to behave when making offers in each of these formats. Perception is reality, so for example low-ball offers are common with as-is properties, and multiple offers with bidding wars are common for homes that are updated and renovated. Care should be taken to determine what is best for you as the Seller, your unique situation and needs.
Victoria Hathaway is the Director of Silver Group, Bob Lucido Team of Keller Williams Integrity’s unique senior division. She is a REALTOR®, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP), Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), past President of the Coalition of Geriatric Services (COGS), and serves the board of the Maryland Gerontological Association and advisory boards for Johns Hopkins University’s Aging Studies and the National Association of Senior Advisors (NAOSA). To learn more about our silver group division, call 410.465.6900 or visit boblucidoteam.com/silvergroup