You’re nervous. After raising a family, you’ve watched your kids carve out their own lives away from home. Now it’s time for you to sell your house and move somewhere smaller.
But you don’t have to do it alone. Your children can support you as you enter the next chapter in your life. Here are ways they can help with the transition.
Tell them to come and get it
If you’ve lived in your home for many years, you’ve likely accumulated a fair number of possessions. While some of them will make the move with you, others won’t.
As you start the downsizing process, the first items that should be culled are your children’s. How many trophies, school report cards and other mementos of theirs are sitting in your attic or basement? It’s ok to ask them to remove their keepsakes from your house.
Let them scout locations
Make sure your children know what you’re looking for in a new home. Do you want to live in a 55-plus community or an urban loft? Would you like to be near medical facilities or a golf course? Condo or single-family house? Tell them exactly what you want, and ask them to start looking. You may retain final say but having them participate will benefit everyone.
In addition to their efforts, you can contact a real estate professional who’s a senior real estate specialist. Such specialists are equipped to help you not just understand the real estate market but also handle the unique challenges associated with downsizing.
Ask for timely reminders
Downsizing takes time. You need to pare down possessions, get the home ready for sale, and find a new place to live. You, your children and your real estate agent should come up with a timeline for the process. Create deadlines for each activity—e.g., Oct. 21: Attic to be empty—and ask your family to make sure you stick to the timeline. Also, include the date your home goes on the market, when the lock box will arrive, and other sales activities.