There’s so much more to selling a home than most people would imagine. Of course, there are necessary preparations when it comes to getting your home ready. First, the physical space must be prepared to maximize its features and appeal to a broad audience. Then, of course, the listing price must be determined, the photographs taken, and the pretty brochure produced, all before a property is shown to buyers.
However, in our experience, there’s a great deal of emotional work happening behind the scenes before the preparations even start to happen.
Very often, the conversation with a seller begins quite some time before a property hits the market. In particular, one group of people we start talking with very early in the process is the senior population.
Let’s take Sandra and Henry for example. Henry purchased his home in Boston more than 45 years ago when he first moved from New York. It had been his home for 2 years when he and Sandra married, and they have shared the home ever since. A lifetime of memories and lifetime belongings were stored in their home. But recently, Henry had a fall and hurt his knee. The stairs in their home were becoming more and more difficult to navigate. The uneven side walk outside their home was treacherous in the winter and parking their car on the street was no longer offering the easy access Sandra and Henry need. Needless to say, it was time to find a new living situation.
The first step in the process was helping Sandra and Henry understand the options available to them. They were clear from the start that they didn’t want to consider an assisted living situation. They instead wanted to continue to live independently with more amenities and services than their current home offered. We determined that a full-service building would offer them what they were looking for; an elevator, onsite parking, someone to help with packages, assist with maintenance of their home, and give them a social community. Sandra and Henry weren’t familiar with what this type of home included, so we helped educate them on the lifestyle of a full-service building. Once Sandra and Henry started to see the kind of lifestyle their next home would offer them, it became easier for them to think about listing their current home.
However, there was a lot of work to do next. So we helped coordinate the preparation of their home for sale by bringing in handymen, painters, an antique appraiser, and then finally a moving concierge who assisted them with the tedious process of deciding what to do with 45 years of “stuff”. We did everything we could to simplify this process for them and take out as much of the stress as possible.
Homes hold a lot of memories and that can understandably make the listing process extremely emotional and delicate. As expected, Sandra and Henry needed time to say goodbye to their memories, and we were there every step of the way, understanding that it had been a very long time since they had been through the sale of a home. Handholding is our specialty and we couldn’t do any of this without a little patience. It’s important to know that seniors require a little extra care and that selling a home can be really helpful for their evolving lives.