When you’ve lived in your home for 30, perhaps even 40, years, trying to visualize your next home can feel next to impossible.
Selling a house after so much time and so many memories is no small undertaking. There are the logistics of preparing for the sale, the decluttering, the small repairs, and the painting here and there. Not to mention the emotional preparation you’ll need to go through as strangers view your home.
But, imagining where you are going to live next can be the most overwhelming.
Recently, we were able to help two individuals make their way through this type of transition. When working with clients, we like to move through this process slowly. We recommend spending some time, before putting your home on the market, reviewing your future options. The reason for this is two-fold.
Firstly, it’s going to make selling your home, from an emotional perspective, much easier if you have already started to become excited about the next step.
Secondly, if your home sells quickly and your buyer makes you a compelling offer on tight timeline, you’ll need to be ready to move out (and into your new place) in a timely manner.
For one of our clients, let’s call him Fred, leaving his home after 40 years was a huge task. When we first met with Fred, he was very focused on what he needed to do to physically to get his home ready to sell. We were able to help Fred with this, giving him guidance on how to declutter and helping him figure out what he wanted to keep store, consign or donate.
We also advised him on the cosmetic updates he could do quickly and inexpensively to make an impact when showing his home to perspective buyers. He listened well to our advice and hired the necessary painters, handymen, etc. to do what needed to be done. But when we asked Fred what his plans were for his next home, he admitted that he hadn’t really thought it through yet.
We immediately started working on this. We counseled him on his options, asked him lots of questions, and started showing him properties to both buy and rent so that he had a thorough understanding of what was available to him. Experience has taught us that without this important component in place, the sale of a home can become complicated.
Eventually, Fred decided that he wanted to do something completely different and he traded his single-family home in the South End for a brand-new rental in a high rise building in Midtown. By the time we put Fred’s home on the market, he was already moving into his new “home in the sky” and was busy making friends with the concierge.
In the end, a little preparation goes a long way – especially for something as important as buying a home. And, as with many things in life, it’s much easier to walk away from something when you already know what you are walking toward.