Should You Sell Your House Before or After You Move?

Relocating to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) and beginning a new chapter in life is an exciting time. Freedom, social opportunities, and the chance to make new friends are just a few of the reasons seniors choose to make this move. One hurdle many seniors face, however, is selling their home.

A question that often arises is whether to sell a home before moving or wait to sell until after making a move. While deciding what approach to take is a personal decision, we can help you explore a few of the pros and cons of both circumstances.

The Pros and Cons of Selling Your House Before Moving to a CCRC

Pro: Access to equity from the house.

A house is often an older adult’s greatest asset, especially in areas like Nassau County where homes are expensive. If you are like many seniors, you may feel the need to sell your home before a move in order to finance the transition. Doing this can also prevent the need to liquidate other assets at what might be an inopportune time.

Pro: Secure financial outlook.

Along with accessing equity, selling a house before a move allows you to know what your financial picture looks like. This way, you can eliminate the guesswork of wondering how much the home will sell for and when. By gaining a financial outlook, you can more effectively plan for the future.

Con: Home might not show as well.

Any seasoned realtor will tell you that a home packed with decades of belongings does not show as well to buyers as one that is thoughtfully staged. Closets may not look as spacious and the lay out of the home may appear less efficient. Personal furniture, photos, and memorabilia may distract potential buyers from focusing on the features and benefits of the home.

Con: Showings can be inconvenient.

Living in a house that is for sale can be difficult, especially when it comes to keeping it “show ready” at all times. It might also be tough to find places to go during times the house is being shown. Because potential buyers often work during the daytime, it is common for showing requests to be during early morning and late evening hours.

The Pros and Cons of Selling a Home After a Move to a CCRC

Pro: Home is easier to stage.

If you move first, the house will be easier to clean and stage. If you aren’t comfortable staging it yourself, you can hire a professional who will ensure your house looks its best to potential buyers.

Professional home stagers maintain an extensive inventory of furniture and accessories that allows buyers to envision themselves living in the home. Experts say a well-staged home sells up to 73 percent faster than a nonstaged home—often at a significantly higher price too.

Pro: Less stress for homeowners.

A retiree who relocates to a CCRC before selling their home can take their time packing and moving. Making this transition on your own timeline, instead of one dictated by a homebuyer, who may be anxious to move in, is less stressful.

By waiting to sell your home, you can see what fits in your new apartment and what needs to find a new home. It will also give you time to reminisce as you sort through photos and mementos you haven’t enjoyed in a while.

Con: Maybe more expensive.

If your home does not sell as quickly as you hoped, there will likely be added expenses, such as utility bills and lawn care in addition to any expenses associated with your new home. Over time, these duplicate costs can amount to a lot of money. If you used a bridge loan or home equity loan to finance the move before your house is sold, there may be additional costs to incur.

What’s Best for You?

In truth, there is no easy answer when deciding whether to sell your home before or after you relocate. It might be beneficial to talk with a certified senior realtor before you make a decision. Their expertise can help you to make an informed decision.

The Amsterdam at Harborside is a Not-for-Profit CCRC

As Nassau County’s only not-for-profit continuing care retirement community, we are a resident-driven organization. Our not-for-profit status allows us to put the needs and interests of residents first. That includes helping potential residents create a timeline for moving that best meets their individual needs.

Call us today at 516.472.6636 to learn more!

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