Though many consumers expect each new house they buy to be bigger than the last, there comes a point in many people’s lives when the next home purchase doesn’t need quite as many bedrooms or half baths—especially with the kids buying homes of their own.
As a REALTOR, you can do more than help empty nester clients find the right home for the next chapter in their lives. You can make the downsizing process easier. Here are a few tips to get your clients started.
Decluttering to Accommodate Smaller Spaces
Successful downsizing starts by intentionally decluttering with an end goal of fitting into smaller spaces. It’s easiest to approach decluttering room-by-room with a detailed inventory that can then be sorted into categories: Things they must have, things they can replace, and things they can live without.
Have your clients ask themselves if they lost everything, what would they actually replace. This will help them determine what things in their home really add value to their lives.
To better accommodate smaller spaces, have them start with the biggest pieces of furniture in each room. Do they really need that huge sectional sofa? Would an extendable dining table better accommodate family holidays rather than one long, difficult-to-move statement piece? Could they be happy with a smaller TV?
Next, have your clients take a look at items they may have multiples of. Getting rid of that extra mattress in the attic or those few additional sets of dishes now can help when it’s time to start packing.
Getting Rid of the Things You Can Live Without
The more decluttering your clients do before making on offer on a new house, the easier the move will be when the day comes. For the items that landed on the list of things they can live without, it’s time to start selling.
Have your clients think about posting items on Craigslist to get more money for each piece. If they’re running out of time, a garage sale can help, but may not be as lucrative, which can be important when it comes time to replace the bigger items in their home.
Of course, if your clients can’t sell something, that doesn’t mean they should keep it. Donating not only helps people in need, it can also reduce your clients’ taxes.
Understanding Transit Options
Once the decluttering is complete, it’s time to look at how the actual move will take place. Talk your clients through their options, and have a list of recommendations ready. Do your clients want to pack their own homes, load everything into the truck, and unpack it on the other end? Or would they rather have someone manage the process for them? There are companies available for almost every stage of the moving process, which can make the task of moving into a downsized home a lot less stressful.
Doing More for Your Clients
At Benchmark, we believe in doing more for your clients. By staying involved in their lives before the next home purchase process begins, you can be a valuable resource, giving you a better chance at repeat business. Take our short online assessment today to find out if you’d be a fit for the Benchmark team!