Home Buying & Selling Guide for Seniors
Specializing in Life Transitions for Seniors & Families
Downsize Your Home, Upsize Your Life
Retirement living looks different for everyone. Do you want to:
Find a home closer to your children or grandchildren?
Find a home with less maintenance so you can travel?
Find a home nearer to your hobbies or ideal lifestyle?
I’ve helped many people step into their retirement dreams. I started my career on the Sunshine Coast, where I worked closely with people who bought and sold houses as their lifestyles transitioned.
In Edmonton, I’ve worked hard to become certified through the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® designation program. Through the program, I gained a greater understanding of how to help those over the age of 50 manage specific transitions in their lifestyles, finances, and real estate goals.
Buying Tips for Seniors
Choosing a Home that Suits Your Lifestyle
You already know that buying a home isn’t just a purchase; your home determines how you live. As people move out of the 9-5 working stage of life, other activities tend to fill those spaces: time spent with family and friends, being outdoors, pursuing hobbies or sports… The list is virtually endless.
No matter where you spend your time, there’s a home out there that will fully support the lifestyle you imagine for yourself. Shopping with a realtor experienced in life transitions usually leads to finding creative real estate options that balance your interests and goals.
Considering Maintenance & Repairs
Chances are good that you’ve had your share of “fixer-uppers” in your time. And while it’s great to have a reason to get outside, it’s probably not necessary for you to get your hands dirty on a regular basis. Most people over the age of 50 look for homes that are low maintenance and won’t need too many repairs.
You’ll want to plan ahead for any “just-in-case” incidents, but in the meantime, it’s good to start your search with recent builds and homes that come move-in ready. In other cases, 50+ neighbourhoods are a great option because they come with maintenance included (although at an extra cost, which is something we need to factor into your budget).
Thinking About Your Budget
It’s important to consider your budget for any home purchase, but especially when you’re no longer in the active job market. You'll likely be living on a fixed budget from investments, savings, and pensions. This is why honest conversations about finances with your realtor will lead to better financial security in the future.
Consider Aging in Place Options
Thinking about the future is as important as ever when you’re selecting your home. If this is the home you plan on living in for the foreseeable future, it’s important to make sure it will work in the long-term, even if unexpected events occur.
A few great questions to ask include:
Are there mobility restrictions? Can they be overcome with equipment or renovations?
Will I be able to continue my usual activities if I have a medical issue or injury?
Would I be able to resell the home quickly if need be?
Selling Tips for Seniors
Learn About Current Market Conditions
Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? Is now the best time to list your property, or should you wait?
The real estate market in Edmonton can shift rapidly. Prices move up and down and the sales process can lengthen or shorten, all depending on the market conditions. It’s important to know what’s going on right now and what’s coming up.
Working with a professional realtor ensures you get up-to-date information so you can make an informed decision before listing. I’ll tell you whether or not it’s a good time to sell and what you can expect during the process if you decide to list your property.
Pricing Your Home and Getting a CMA
Pricing your home can be one of the most difficult decisions in the home selling process. You want to get the best possible price for your house, but you also don’t want it to sit on the market for too long.
The first step toward determining a price that will entice buyers and give you a great return on your investment is a CMA. I can provide you with a CMA (or Comparative Market Analysis). This will tell you how your home compares to homes that have sold recently, are currently on the market, or have been listed but not sold. Once we have a baseline for similar properties in your area, we’ll be able to determine what a suitable price point would be. The final decision on listing price is always up to you.
Marketing & Listing on MLS
It’s not enough to simply list your home; you need to have a plan in place to make sure as many potential buyers see it as possible. This can lead to faster sales, better offers, and smoother transactions. But marketing real estate in the modern age is a challenge.
MLS listings are a very important tool when it comes to marketing your home. MLS stands for “Multiple Listing Service,” and it’s a group of online databases that allow your listing to be searched from multiple points. It actually originated in 1908, when realtors would get together at a central location to share listings. Only licensed agents and brokers can list properties on the MLS database.
Find People & Businesses to Help You Through Your Move
Moving is a great undertaking at any stage of life, but it’s unlikely that you’ll want to power through unexpected challenges like you did as a younger buyer. It’s always best to have professionals you can trust helping you through all the different stages of your transition. Although it may result in extra expenses, it can also save you from many more.
A few services you might like to consider would include:
Real estate agents
Financial advisors with experience in tax and estate planning
Movers (especially those that offer packing services)
Renovators and contractors (if there’s work to be done)