Z-Real Estate

Help! I have To Downsize! Where Do I Begin?

The Seward Group of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. Team Members: Left to right: Laura Catron, Melody Abella, Gina Wimpey, Lyssa Seward, Elaine McCall and Anita Edwards (Photos: The Seward Group)

Alexandria, VA – How do you begin downsizing? Many people are asking this question these days. Let the Seward Group help! We are truly empathetic to what an extraordinary undertaking this is. First, consider these steps before selling your current home:

  • Room by room. Pack, donate, throw away! Decluttering is the most critical part of this process. Remember, you are downsizing! I have been in my house for 33 years, and we accumulate things. Remember that everything in your house must come out when this process is done. Allow a lot of time – six months or more – to slowly prepare and not overwhelm yourself. It may be worth the cost to hire an estate sale person or a professional organizer to help you sort through your treasures. If this is not an option for you, enlist the help of family and friends and maybe do one room a week. We all have much to sort, donate, and give away before we move on to our new adventures.
  • We all have deferred maintenance. Address deficiencies you are aware of – repair things that do not work correctly. Evaluate the ages of your systems – water heater, air conditioner, furnace, appliances, roof, and windows. Talk to a realtor (hopefully me) about best practices regarding cost versus value. (This will be market dependent.) Consider getting a pre-listing home inspection. No one likes surprises.
  • Spruce up landscaping and curb appeal. Remove any dead trees/shrubs. Have any large branches trimmed so your house is completely visible. Maybe new house numbers and a new mailbox would enhance your curb appeal.
  • Consider painting inside and outside (as needed).
  • Refinish hardwood floors or get new carpeting (as needed).
  • Talk to a realtor (think of us!) about vendor recommendations and decorating advice.
  • Talk to a contractor/handyman recommended by your realtor or trusted neighbors to take care of updates and repairs. Contractors are very busy these days, so lead time is key.
  • Think about your realistic timeline and what improvements you can make and enjoy if your move will not be for a few years.
  • Have your home and your windows professionally cleaned when you are within a month of putting your house on the market.
  • If you are in a situation where you are unable to make any repairs, there is still a strong market for your home.  Our geographic area is sought after, and we know builders are interested in homes that require work.  You are not likely to get top dollar, but you will still do very well (This will be market-dependent.)
  • If your situation is one where you or a loved one is infirmed and financially limited, there are still resources available.

You may be making a move very soon or slowly thinking of where and when you want to move. Let us guide you with a plan to sell your home for the highest price the market will bear.

The Seward Group is a team of full-service concierge realtors, and we will coordinate all home sale preparations once we are hired. We have partners specializing in downsizing and senior moves who can help ease the stress of this emotional process.

Please let us know how we may assist you now or in the future. It would be a pleasure to work with you.

The Seward Group offers full-spectrum concierge real estate services at all price points. Email us at [email protected], Visit our website at seward-group.com, or Call us at (703) 298-0562. The Seward Group would be honored to help you, a family member, or a friend with your real estate needs.

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