From retirees to city slickers with new jobs, many consumers seek to get out of a house and get into a condo. Homeowners want less space and maintenance with all the modern amenities they prefer. Thoughtful agents can make this transition as smooth as possible for their clients. Consider seven ways to help clients downsizing from house to condo, so they can sell a house for top dollar and find the condo of their dreams.
Get Out the Tape Measure
Often potential buyers estimate the size home they prefer to see. However, this can lead to disappointment if the house winds up to be too small for all the buyer’s essential belongings. Bring a tape measure to house showings to verify the size of the rooms. Review the size of the buyer’s current home versus the condo they want to purchase. Discuss the closet and storage spaces as well as the living areas. Assist clients in finding a place that is small enough to meet their criteria but large enough for them to live comfortably.
Examine Home Equity
Some people downsize to reduce costs and maintenance. Others want to relocate to a neighborhood that is closer to shopping, hospitals, and other amenities. Either way, it is crucial to have your clients examine their current home equity. If their current house is paid off, the clients might be able to sell their existing property and buy a smaller house without taking on a mortgage. Or they may have enough equity to buy a condo and dramatically reduce their mortgage payment. Downsizing can have measurable financial benefits. Savvy agents work with local bankers and mortgage agents who can help with appraisals, pre-qualification, and financing.
Few clients want to view their valued possessions as clutter, but often that is what happens over the years. People continue to collect and display items that may no longer be useful. Downsizing means clearing out the clutter from the house. If items are overfilling the current space, they cannot be taken to a smaller one. If an item has not been used or touched in a year or longer, get rid of it. Condo owners soon discover they love the freedom of taking care of fewer things. An agent should have a shortlist of cleaning people and handymen who can help get rid of unwanted items before people move.
Tally the Potential Costs for Maintenance and Utilities
Many people decide to downsize to reduce monthly bills such as utilities and maintenance. For example, many condo complexes include property maintenance in the monthly fees. Owners do not have to pay a separate invoice for a landscaper and other outdoor maintenance. And, utilities are lower in a smaller home with updated, energy-efficient appliances and fixtures. Encourage buyers to invest in a condo with modern amenities to help them save money on utility bills for years to come.
Consider Owning Versus Renting
Agents should recommend that clients who want to downsize consult with an accountant or financial advisor. Create a list of financial pros to recommend to clients and encourage reciprocal referrals from them. Encourage clients to discuss important topics such as capital gains and the benefits of renting versus owning. Each situation is different based on the client’s age and current financial status. An accountant or other financial expert is qualified to assess the client’s situation and make educated recommendations to help them maximize their assets.
Let Go of the Old, Embrace the New
One of the most significant hurdles an agent can help their client’s scale is letting go of an old house to embrace a new one. While clients are looking forward to their new home, it can be challenging to let go of the routines and memories that go with living in one place for years. Encourage your clients to put together a scrapbook of memories as they clean up. Discuss their memories as they prepare to pack them up and go to a new residence. Talking about the process helps clients get through it more easily. Be ready to offer reassurance and answer questions every step of the way.
Intro to a New Lifestyle
Sometimes clients imagine themselves in a specific place at a particular time in their lives but may not realize what that really means. When you show homeowners condos for sale, point out the desirable lifestyle changes. For example, some condo complexes have features such as maintained gardens and decks, common gathering areas, fitness centers, walking trails, swimming pools, and more. Show them how the condo can create a new and inviting way of life that they won’t get from their current homeownership situation. Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate agents can offer clients branded swag to remind them of who helped make this incredible new lifestyle happen. Use these tips to help clients who are downsizing from house to condo. Once they sell a house and move into their new condo, they will discover the advantages of this carefree lifestyle. And, they are sure to recommend the agent who helps them make this dream a joyful reality!