Selling your home can be very stressful. It is my job to make it LESS stressful. The first thing you should do is to pack up your most precious items, the ones with the most memories. These items will definitely be moving with you and we want to keep them protected throughout the selling process. If your home is extremely crowded or cluttered, it would be a very good idea to start giving things away or donating to charities, ESPECIALLY if you are moving to a smaller home. Aim for only keeping the things you will be moving into your new home. I do not handle nursing homes so we are not talking about that. We are talking about moving from your larger home to a smaller home that will require less maintenance and upkeep. A fresh start for this exciting chapter of your life.
I DID this the year I became 50 years old. It was a celebration for me. I sold my 5 bedroom house and bought a much smaller two bedroom house. Of course, I had to part with lots of furniture and things to go from 3000 sf to 1100 sf. I was determined to only bring the things I truly loved. It worked, for the most part. If I would just stop buying clothes, I'd be in good shape. I located myself near shopping, doctors, the military base (my husband is retired navy) and basically right in the center of all the activity. My neighborhood was built in the late 1960s so we have lots of big trees and brick houses with hardwood floors. Fortunately for me, my house was remodeled and refurbished just before I bought it in 2009.
Having a well maintained home is very important as we get older. My husband is almost 70 and still does our yardwork but we are prepared to hire a neighborhood teenager to cut the grass when we need it. I found out a couple of years ago that my house is also wheelchair accessible in some ways but not in others. I broke my ankle and was in a wheelchair for awhile. The only room I can't get into with a wheelchair is my bathroom and that definitely needs to be changed if I am going to age in this house. I will also need a wheelchair ramp. We keep putting it off but it is best to prepare for such things before you need them.
Steps we would take in selling your home to buy an exciting new one are:
(1) Start packing valuable memory items
(2) Start giving away and donating items that won't fit comfortably in your new smaller home
(3) Declutter as much as possible so buyer's can imagine their OWN items in your home
(4) Decide on a fair market price for your home bases on comparable homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood. I have this information and will share it with you.
(5) I will do all of the paperwork and explain each step to you, and then I will put your home's description and photos in our local MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE. This allows all of the realtors in Charleston (approximately 5000) to read about your home and decide if they have a potential buyer for you.
(6) I will put an electronic lockbox on your home (with your permission of course) This lockbox will hold a key to your door. ONLY Realtors who have been qualified are able to unlock it and ONLY with your permission.
(7) Realtors will make the appointments to show through a system called SHOWING TIME. You will be notified when someone wants to see your home and you will try to arrange not to be home. The agent will be with the buyer and the electronic lockbox AND the Showing Time service keeps a record of who was there and at what time. Buyers feel more comfortable looking at a home when the homeowners are not there. I will follow up EVERY time your home is shown to get feed back and answer questions.
(8) When we get a written offer by a Pre-approved buyer, I will go over every detail with you. If we get multiple offers, I will present them all to you.
(9) When you agree to an offer, lots of things happen. WE will go out and try to find your perfect new home. While your home is listed for sale, we will be looking at potential homes for you, on the Multiple Listing Service. When we get the accepted offer, it's time to go out in person to see the ones you are interested in.
(10) If you haven't already done so, we'll get you pre-approved for a loan to purchase your new home.
(11) While we are looking for your next home, the Buyer's agent will be helping the buyer to get any inspections done, ask to get the appraisal done and getting the CL100 Termite letter. If you have a termite bond, there won't be a problem. If there is termite and/or water damage, you will have to agree to have it treated and repaired. If there are no repairs needed, it should be smooth sailing to the closing. The appraisal has to be at least as high as the price we agreed to OR we might have to renegotiate with the buyers.
(12) We will try to arrange the closing on your current house on the same day as the closing on your new house. Of course, you will have hired movers or gathered friends and family to help you move.