If you have been thinking about downsizing - you are not alone.  Currently we have had 6 couples downsize just in the last 30 days, and most are moving out of state.  Right now downsizer's are our #1 client that we are servicing, and part of what sets us apart is our approach to downsizing to make it as easy as possible.  If you are feeling anxiety about even thinking about downsizing, you are not alone.  Check out this complete list to make sure your ready and prepared to downsize! 

Top 10 Tips for Downsizing Successfully in Today's Market:

1.  Select and meet with your Realtor right away (hopefully you call us).  

Even if you are looking off in the next several years, having a realtor who meets with you and helps guide you can result in much more dollars for you, and easier transaction, and less stress.  Most clients we help who are downsizing will meet with us over a year ahead of time.  During that meeting we will review what things need to be taken care of in order to sell, what can be left along and overall what we are thinking the perfect time to come to market may be.  NOTE: To meet with a realtor your home does NOT need to be ready to go to market - this is a pre-listing meeting only. 

2.  One of the people in the couple that are downsizing are probably not eager about the idea. 

Downsizing is not just about going to a smaller house, but it is ending a chapter of your life.  A chapter that may be full of memories and very sentimental to the owners.  9 out of 10 people we meet with fall into this category.  On top of it, if people have been living in their home for a long time the task can seem daunting.  If you are wanting to downsize, and yet your spouse or partner does not want to it is not hopeless.  What my client's normally find is that once they know where they are going the other spouse get's excited and onboard with the change. 

3.  Start de-cluttering now. 

One thing you need to ask yourself - does this "stuff" give me joy? What do you want your children to have of your items? You have the power now to make those choices and not have your family have to deal with them when you are gone.  Take 1 category at a time and set a daily goal, and a task completed goal.  Begin with clothing since it is the least emotional for you. You will be amazed at how much better you feel when you can take it in small bites and not a total heaping plate. On another article you will see our top 10 steps for decluttering a home, and preparing a property for sale. 

4.  Have your realtor prepare a net sheet to see what you will get financially from the sale of your home.

Sales price is important, but what you are netting from the sale of your home is the most important in the equation.  The net sheet becomes pretty vital information when you are making a move. 

5.  Complete deferred maintenance now.

To get top dollar on a home you must have the home be in show ready condition.  If you have put off maintenance items do it now and it will help you later.  For our downsizer's we help them every step of the way....even helping them sell their furniture if need be. 

6.  Meet with your accountant. 

Once you have the net sheet in hand it is time to go to your accountant and see what your tax ramifications might be if you sell your home.  Ask about the "Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997" and how you might benefit from this program.  (Note that we are not accountants and cannot give any tax advice, but if you need a referral we are happy to provide one.)

7.  See what your money can buy in your desired neighborhoods. 

In another article we will show you the top 5 places to retire in Southern California, so stay tuned for that! If you go and take time to see what you can buy and where you will be going you will start to get excited about the move.  After I talk to my clients who downsized 6 months later they all say the same thing - "I wish I had done it sooner!" - what seemed a daunting task was not bad at all and now they are more comfortable with less they have to maintain and take care of.  

8.  Purge, Purge, and Purge Some More....

People many times are attached to "stuff" and it is really the memories attached to those things that they are attached to.  Have a large bin specifically for trash and another for donation and be ruthless as you go through them.  Note that from the book, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" that Nostalgia is not your friend.  

9.  Banish the maybe pile. 

You touch it once, make a decision on keeping it or losing it and stick to it! You will thank me later. 

10.  Hire someone to sell your stuff, and especially the high value items. 

Recently we helped a family that had a mother who had died.  She had collected Lladro - and lots of it.  We had no idea what the value was worth - as those items are very expensive.  Worse yet, the family was so upset about losing the matriarch of their family they were having trouble parting with it.  They hired an estate sale specialist that came and sold everything and was worth every penny they paid to have that happen! 

I hope you found this article helpful as you are considering making a move!  We love to hear your feedback so please let us know your thoughts! 

If you would like a no hassle, no obligation competitive market analysis of your home (CMA) and a completed net sheet to see what you would be able to net financially from the sale of your home please contact us HERE and we will get right back with you! 

However, don't just take our word for it.

Here is a review from on of our most recent downsizing clients:

So who is the Stevenson Team?? 

Mark and Heather Stevenson are the team leaders for the Stevenson Team, a proud part of Reliance Real Estate Services. Being leaders in real estate for the last 23 years, and having lived in Corona for the last 13 years, they are a dynamic team you can trust! They are in the top 1/2 of 1% of all agents nationwide, and have all 5 star ratings from their clients that you can see HERE. If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate, call Mark and Heather at (714) 749-2179 or click HERE and they will be in touch with you quickly!