You’ve downsized the items in your house, gathered your team, and are in the process of selling your home. Now it’s time for the next step, finding your new home. Fortunately, you have already found a team to help you with this process. But there are a few things you should sort out to make sure your team is on the same page.
The first thing to consider is where you want to go. What matters most? Do you want to move closer to family? Would you prefer somewhere by the water? Or do you want to move to the center of the city, to be close to shops and healthcare? Or maybe to a senior community that has events and activities for retirees? Knowing where to look will help your realtor find the best options for you to consider.
If you are moving far from where you currently live, you’ll need to expand your team. Your local realtor, who will help you sell your home, can help you find a realtor local to where you want to go. A local realtor is important to make sure they know the area and can find the best homes at the best prices.
An important thing to remember when looking for a new home, whether you are downsizing or not is that it will take time. The visiting potential homes and putting in offers might happen quickly, especially if you have sold your old home, but finding the right place to go at the right price in that window is all about preparation.
Once your realtor knows where to look, they will start sending you listings for you to look at. Take time to assess them. The first ones most likely won’t be what you want, but figure out why. Do you want a certain layout? Make sure to let your realtor know if you have accessibility needs, like ramps or railings. Narrow down the location. Is this apartment too far from your trusted doctor? Would you like a better view of the lake? Keep in communication with your realtor so they can hone in on what you like.
Once you have narrowed things down, take a look at places that you like that have sold recently. This should give you a good idea of the price range you’ll be aiming for. If it’s looking too high in one area, or building, or neighborhood, hopefully one of the other locations you are considering will be closer to your price range. Talk to your realtor about what you might need to adjust in your search to find a place to fit your price range.
Most or all of the narrowing down steps can be done online. Video walkthroughs and good pictures are becoming more standard in online listings, allowing you to research from the comfort of your home. Only the last step is actual visits! But visiting is a crucial last step to make sure the sights, sounds, and the rest of the sensory experience of the home are what you want. Pictures are great, but they can only go so far.
This is another step where it is crucial to rely on a good realtor. They will know the market and be able to put together a good offer that will appeal to the sellers. This offer will be based on local market prices, what has sold recently, demand, and more. Demand is up in almost every housing market in the country right now, so competition might be fierce.
Some things your realtor might want you to include might be: 1) a personal letter to the seller. Are you moving closer to your adorable grandchildren? Let them know! Include pictures! Need to stay close to a local hospital or health clinic? Imagine yourself hosting family holidays? Don’t be afraid to let the seller know. 2) Flexible move-in. Can you rent for a bit or stay with family while the sellers find their new home? Giving the sellers more breathing room can be attractive.
Beware of waiving contingencies. Many buyers waive things like the home inspection in an attempt to beat the competition and regret it later when serious issues come to light. If a home is practically new, this might be an option, but for older home, the risk usually isn’t worth it.
You made it! You put in the work, sorted through the clutter, gathered your team, staged and sold your old home, found your new home and you’re ready to move in. Our final installment in the Downsizing series will be all about moving! For now, check out our post on 3 Amazing New Moving Trends you might not know about.
If you need help finding your new home, selling your old home, or even finding a great realtor in the area where you want to relocate, contact Geva & Jane today! They know the best places to retire in Northern Virginia and have years of experience negotiating offers for buyers.
Elizabeth Marcano, Writer for Geva and Jane Real Estate