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    Plan Ahead, Take Your Time: Tips for Seniors on the Selling and Moving Process

    Selling a home and organizing a move can be a tumultuous process for senior citizens, particularly those who are leaving a home full of memories after many happy years. Aging often forces seniors to find more manageable and livable space due to mobility problems or cognitive decline. The more you can do to plan ahead and simplify the process, the less you’ll have to worry about as you undergo such a major change late in life. Your circumstances may differ substantially from others in the market, but it’s important to observe practices that will help attract buyers and recoup the value you’ve added to your home over the years.

    An appealing space

    Be careful about making major modifications if you’re putting your home on the market. They may suit your needs and desires, but if your goal is to make it attractive to a broad range of homebuyers, radically altering the overall flow and feel of your house may render it unappealing or even unusable for many people. Go with simple enhancements that make your house look bigger and brighter. Refresh your paint with earth tones and neutral colors like beige or shades of white, make sure all walkways and living areas are clear of clutter and excess furniture, and add lighting in rooms that tend to be dim and lack natural light.

    Price it right

    Pricing is always one of the most important factors in selling a home, and it’s important to get it right. Consult with a realtor before settling on a price, and get advice on what improvements may be needed in the price range you’re considering. Remember that buyers will often make a decision on a house based on price alone. If yours is $20,000 above market value, you may never get a chance to show off all those nice features inside your house.

    Strategizing your move

    If you’re past the point where you can move furniture and lots of heavy boxes yourself, a moving company is going to be your best bet. Professional movers are expert at packing, loading and unloading your valuable belongings safely, and they’re fully insured. The moving process can be an overwhelming ordeal for anyone; it can be downright jarring for seniors who are unaccustomed to the whole process, especially when downsizing your entire household.

    Plan in advance

    When it comes to moving, there’s no such thing as starting too soon. As soon as you know you’ll be moving, start investigating moving companies, especially if you’re moving during the busy season (i.e. spring, summer and early fall). It’s important to set a solid move date so you can put together a timeline and begin organizing everything.


    Planning ahead is important here too: start making a list of belongings you know you’ll need or want to keep, which will make things easier when it comes to deciding what you can give or throw away. It’ll make those difficult, emotional decisions easier, especially when moving day starts looming large on the calendar.

    Break it into steps

    People sometimes make the mistake of trying to get everything done as quickly as possible. Remember, you have a lifetime of accumulated possessions to go through. Rushing through it all in a day or two will lead to mistakes and increase the likelihood of losing something you want to take with you.

    Selling and moving are likely to be emotional experiences. Do yourself a favor by taking the time to do it right and on your terms. Plan ahead and organize everything carefully so that your belongings fit well into your new living space. Remember, there’s no sense in dragging clutter along with you.


    Teresa Greenhill


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