Whew! You made it. You have raised your family, saved for retirement, and finally got the last child out of the house. That moment you have been waiting for has arrived. You can finally start the plan of downsizing. You have dreamt about it since your five kids were in five different after-school activities in five different places. You daydreamed about it each time you wrote that college tuition check. So now that you have made it past all of life’s hurdles, let’s look at the best way to downsize, without getting stuck in limbo.
The biggest part of downsizing is selling your current home, right? Putting your house up for sale and dealing with the headaches of long listings, low offers and tire-kickers are half of the stress created when you downsize (the other half is dwindling down your belongings, but that is another topic for another day). When these variables come into play, it easily turns the plan of downsizing into a plan of “Are we sure we want to do this?”. With long listing times, it will be easy to wonder if this is really what you want to do, and it allows the task of moving and locating a new home less of an exciting new adventure and more of a cumbersome task. So when you start to look at ways to best sell your current home in a timely manner, take the following into consideration when choosing a real estate company:
- Knowledge – Henry Ford once said that “when you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are”. Doing your homework on potential agents is your way of being smarter. Don’t trust this job to Aunt Sue’s neighbor’s niece, who just got her real estate license, or your best friend’s new brother-in-law who sells real estate part-time. And don’t just hire any agent, hire one with proven results that will advise you the best way to sell your home quickly and for the most money. If they sound like all the others, they are not the right one.
- Marketing – The home you are looking to sell is probably the largest investment you own. So why would you hire an agent that won’t make a marketing investment to assist you in selling? One complaint sellers have with real estate agents is they put up a sign, maybe put in on the MLS and then they wait. Then you feel like you are waiting on something that isn’t going to happen, Ask potential agents how will they market and promote your property to insure potential buyers are aware you are selling. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. And look for agents who offer something “outside the box”. Someone who is innovative with multiple marketing strategies will most likely be the most successful in selling your home.
- Communication – Nobel Prize winner for Literature, George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” And this is the single largest complaint about real estate agents. Because after they put up their sign and start the waiting game, you don’t hear from them again until right before your listing ends, asking you for more time. Make sure your agent choice is communicative, even when there really isn’t anything to report. And if communication is promised, hold them accountable. Find out why they are not following up with you on a regular basis and remember those encounters if your home doesn’t sell.
So when you look at these three characteristics, you are really hiring a smart, talkative marketing agent not just someone with a real estate license. And by incorporating that thinking and carefully choosing a real estate company, you are more likely to quickly be on your path of determining what furniture and dishes can make the trip with you to your new, downsized location. Otherwise, you will get stuck in limbo and the only place you will be going is nowhere.