By Maddie Jostol, Senior Marketing Manager
The kids are off to college and the big house just doesn’t make sense anymore. The cost, upkeep, and empty space is often what motivates empty nesters to think about downsizing.
As their real estate agent, it’s your job to guide them to the perfect downsized home. Below are a handful of tips for you to pass along to your clients. Take some of these tips and create your own guide to offer to clients. This is a great tactic for getting back in touch with someone you think might be a soon-to-be empty nester. If you’re using MoxiInsights, for example, and see that someone is flagged as ‘likely to list’ because they could have kids approaching an age where they’re likely to move out, it might be the perfect time to offer up your guide and get back in touch.
Here are a few tips to get you started when it comes to clients downsizing:
1. Look for space that truly matters
First and foremost, they need to find the right home. As you know, downsizing can be overwhelming for many homeowners as it’s likely they’ve spent their life growing into larger spaces.
As their agent, remember to help them look for the right space. Every family has different needs. When downsizing, the homeowners should consider what space is non-negotiable to figure out which homes make the most sense. Want to downsize, but you host Thanksgiving every year? Look for a home that still has a formal dining room, even if it means smaller bedrooms. Love to garden? Look for a smaller home that still sits on a decent sized lot where you can grow your veggies.
2. Get the location right
Location, location, location. It’s important with any home purchase, but when it comes time to downsize, this is a particularly important consideration.
Many homeowners will choose to downsize as a part of a move that gets them to their next phase in life. Whether that’s retiring on a farm or moving into the city, it’s important for these homeowners to think about their ideal lifestyle and match their new home’s location to that.
3. Take inventory
We often don’t even know what we have. Stuff accumulates over the years, and before we know it, we have closets and containers full of stuff that just gets shoved away, never to be seen again. Encourage your clients to take inventory of what they have during the home search process, so they have a realistic idea of how much space they need.
Then, once you help them find the perfect home, encourage them to purge. This will make their move easier and living in their new place more comfortable. This includes any storage units, sheds, or storage rooms. Taking inventory of it all to give them a clear picture of what they do and don’t have.
4. Get the right storage systems
Once the move is taking place, consider sending your client a list of your favorite storage systems. This is a small but powerful favor, as they’ll be trying to figure out how to get all of their stuff into their new, smaller home. Offer them suggestions for storage systems that have multiple uses and actually save space. Pinterest is a great resource for nifty storage systems that they likely don’t already have.
5. Out with the old
Garage sales are a lot of work, and we often don’t have enough stuff to warrant spending an entire Saturday hosting one. Here are a few ways your clients can get rid of the stuff they no longer need – whether they want to donate it or make a few bucks.
Clients downsizing is a difficult process, from the moment a family decides to make the move, to finding the perfect home, and all the way through the move. Help ease the pain of the process by offering valuable tips as your guide them through. Be the real estate agent they always think of when they tell their friends about how excited they are for this new phase in their life.