Transforming the challenges of moving into choices
It may be time to consider moving, yet the thought fills many with absolute dread. All the aspects of the moving process may seem overwhelming. There are so many issues to deal with: sorting, packing, cleaning, selling the home, and various other tasks. The moving to-do list never seems to end.
However, for seniors who have been in their homes for 20, 30, 40, or even 50 years, relocating presents challenges far beyond the physical demands of carrying boxes and arranging furniture.
Older adults may also face difficult emotional and financial decisions during the moving process. Preparing the family home for sale, downsizing, packing, moving, and setting up the new house are all physically and mentally arduous tasks. It is not surprising that many seniors hesitate to leave their long-time homes—insisting that they are “Not Ready Yet!” In fact, the moving process is often cited as one of the largest barriers to relocating by seniors who would otherwise be ready for a move.
Transforming Challenges, Step by Step
No one would consider diagnosing a health problem without consulting a physician or going to court without the assistance of an attorney. The process of moving and downsizing should be no different.
Innovative companies like Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors offer customized services to help seniors with every aspect of moving and downsizing. These professionals provide essential advice and assistance while preparing the home for sale and sorting through possessions, but their services do not stop there. They also help older adults prepare for a move by breaking the process down into manageable steps and offering hands-on assistance. With this type of professional support, the challenges of the moving process can easily be transformed into choices.
Step One: Preparing to Sell
Once a homeowner has made the decision to sell their home, they should select a real estate agent who can meet their distinctive needs. The emergence of specialized real estate designations has made the process of choosing an agent easier for older adults. Senior Real Estate Specialists (SRES) are licensed Realtors who have received the SRES designation through the national Senior Advantage Real Estate Council. SRES agents have completed specialized training courses and are qualified to meet the unique needs of their senior clients throughout the home buying and/or selling process.
After finding a qualified agent, homeowners are ready to begin the process of preparing to sell their home. An evaluation of the condition and marketability of the home is the first step. A comprehensive assessment by a qualified agent can decrease selling time and increase selling price.
Diane Krause, an agent with Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, in Bryn Mawr, explains, “After evaluating the current condition of a home, we provide a report that includes the suggested asking price for the home in its present condition and another suggested asking price for the home after completing some improvements.”
Krause goes on to note that suggested improvements can be as simple as enhancing curb appeal by re-mulching flower beds or improving first impressions by removing clutter from the home’s entry. Other recommended improvements may include updating appliances, replacing carpets, and repainting exterior or interior walls.
In addition to comprehensive reports, specialized agents can also help clients prioritize repairs and locate qualified professionals to complete home improvement projects. Utilizing the help of professionals to prepare for a sale can ultimately result in a selling price that reflects the top market value for the home.
Step Two: Packing and Sorting
Starting early is the key to successful packing and sorting. Before moving, years’ worth of treasures must be sorted. While planning for a move, items should be sorted into distinct categories: keep/move, give to family, donate to charity, and throw away.
The initial list of items to keep will likely be larger than the new space can accommodate, but moving professionals who specialize in working with seniors can offer advice about what to take and what to leave behind. Completing the difficult task of sorting before moving is essential for a successful transition.
Krause recalls clients who learned first-hand the importance of sorting through unnecessary belongings earlier rather than later. “I have seen clients move too much into the new residence and regret their decision. They end up paying to have these possessions packed and moved—only to realize that they have to dispose of them to make room in their new home.”
Professionals can help seniors make informed decisions about what to take to the new home. They take into account their client’s personal tastes, the financial and sentimental value of possessions, and the floor plan of the new residence. These professionals have helped countless senior clients make the move and are adept at addressing the emotional challenges inherent in sorting through a house full of belongings.
Step Three: Downsizing and Moving
Downsizing is one of the most time consuming and emotionally draining aspects of the moving process. After sorting, final decisions must be made about what to take to the new home. If floor plans of the new space are available, they should be used to help with planning. The new home is likely a smaller apartment or condo, so space limitations should be taken into consideration.
Moving day is the final step in the process. For many seniors, moving day is simple and rewarding due to comprehensive, customized real estate services provided prior to the sale of the house. On moving day, movers, shippers, and haulers can help with the physical aspects of the task of moving. Real estate professionals can recommend trusted companies to handle this work, as well as provide assistance with the job of unpacking and setting up the new home. From the initial assessment of the old home to settling into the new house, professional real estate assistance is available to help with every aspect of the moving process.
Challenges Become Choices
As the challenges of moving fade due to increasingly helpful professionals, seniors are left with nothing but choices—where to move, when to move, what to take, and how to decorate the new home. Older adults who are considering a move are no longer faced with the difficult questions of how to market their homes and move their belongings. There is help available every step of the way. The only question that remains is, “Are you ready for a move?”
This article was featured in Guide to Retirement Living. to order a Free copy of the Guide, call 1-800-394-9990 or log on to www.GuidetoretirementLiving.com.