Are Home Repairs Necessary before You Sell the Home of a Senior?
When you sell a home, you need to meet two primary goals, which is to get the highest price possible and to move the property as quickly as possible to avoid carrying costs, such as mortgage and insurance payments.
To those ends, you may make any necessary repairs, so potential buyers aren’t put off by the money needed to fix problems. To match other renovations in the neighborhood, you may decide to make exterior and interior upgrades, such as remodeling the kitchen, landscaping the front yard, or pouring a new driveway.
What Transitions Can Seniors Make?
However, when seniors sell their homes as part of a life transition, other important factors come into play. These individuals may be downsizing and prefer to move someplace smaller because of lower maintenance and lower expenses. They may want to leave their current home because of the death of a spouse. Or they may need the money from the sale right away to finance long term care at an assisted living facility.
What Do Buyers Expect?
Senior homeowners are unlikely to have small homes suitable for first-time buyers in up-and-coming areas. Instead, most will have traded up to larger spaces in established neighborhoods with good school districts to accommodate their growing families. With children having grown up and moved out, they would see little need to remodel. In the meantime, the homes around them may get new families who have continually updated to meet their family needs.
Homebuyers are aware of these issues when they look at a real estate owned by a senior. This purchase may be their second or third home. They’re savvier than first-timers and know what’s involved in renovating a house.
They buy a senior home because they want to customize it to their tastes. So, updates to put a house on the market may be a waste of money. For example, if you decide to put new carpeting or paint the rooms in such a home, the buyers will want updates like engineered wood flooring and remodel the interior to their liking.
How Much Money Should You Spend?
When you fix up a senior home for sale, you want to avoid expenses for cosmetic items that buyers will tear out. They will be unimpressed by such changes and may deduct the cost of such tear-outs from their offers. Also, the senior may require the money for immediate transition expenses, such as moving to an aged care facility. In such cases, preserving cash flow becomes a more critical consideration.
What Are Some Alternatives to Expensive Updates?
Rather than making expensive updates to the home, focus on staging that costs little or nothing.
- Depersonalize and DE-clutter the interior by removing knickknacks, family photos, and quirky collectibles. Doing this will help buyers see their things in the space.
- Give everything a good cleaning, so that the home will look brighter and newer.
- Replace any large and outdated pieces with newer, more modern furniture that you borrow from family and friends. Put fewer rather than more furniture inside. This process will make rooms look bigger and more spacious.
- Mow the lawn and trim the trees. If you can afford it, plant some colorful annuals in the front yard. You are improving the curb appeal, which will invite buyers to enter.
How Can We Help?
If you’re a senior who is dealing with a life transition or caring for an older family member, please contact us. We can assist with such issues related to aging, from bridge loan financing, selling the home and its contents, to relocating seniors and arranging for continued independent living.