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How to Downsize Your Home

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How to Downsize Your Home

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Our team has learned how to downsize your home through years of helping other families. Team Diva has helped a lot of families when parents lose mobility and cannot take care of their homes anymore. And recently with the Pandemic, a lot of our friends are retiring early and downsizing their homes. Without a doubt, it is super tough to pack up a home you have lived in for 10, 20, or even 30 years.

In this blog, we are going to give you all of the tips and tricks we have learned on how to downsize your home. Below is a video of one of our sellers who was downsizing to a condo after living in his home for 40 years. Working with this family and others is exactly why we do this work. 

Steps on How to Downsize Your Home

Below are the steps we took to help Al Taylor and his family downsize from a home they lived in for 50 years. His story is so sweet!

  1. Know Where You Are Going First Before Starting 
  2. Take Only What You Need for Your New Life
  3. Create Boxes for the Family With Their Memories
  4. Hold a Garage Sale
  5. Give or Throw Away What is Left
  6. Hire a Real Estate Agent Who Has Resources
  7. Fix What’s Broken
  8. Move Out of the Home
  9. Prep the Home for Sale
  10. Go Through the Diva Difference Process and Sell Your Home!

Bonus: Live your best life!

Let’s dive into the steps below. 

Steps on How to Downsize Your Home

How to Downsize Your Home

Before we start we want to take a moment to recognize just how hard it is to downsize your home and move on from a phase in your life. We have seen clients burst into tears when they find a memory hidden in a junk drawer in the garage from years ago. Our philosophy is to take your time and know that this is a journey. And we are here to help!

Know Where You Are Going First Before Starting 

We cannot stress enough how important it is to know where you are going BEFORE you start downsizing. Many people are extremely attached to their homes and the life they lived in that house. And sometimes that home has gotten too big for them or too hard to manage. Here are a couple of downsizing options. 

Once I Downsize My Home Where Should I Go?

  • View Apartment in Downtown Seattle
  • Condo Closer to Family
  • Single Level Home on the Coast
  • Become an Expat in Portugal or Mexico City (ok, this is the Diva’s dream)

Is there a place you want to downsize to that is not on our list? Let us know about your adventures. 

Take Only What You Need for Your New Life

Downsizing a home also means downsizing our possessions. And this can be super hard for people. In the LGBTQ community, many of us have possessions from friends who passed away during the AIDS epidemic. Letting go of an item is like forgetting that person existed. How can we remember a person or a time and still make space for our new life?

Many of us during the Pandemic took a good look at what we had been packing around and started purging. Do we really need all of these corporate clothes if we never intend on stepping inside an office again? Probably not! 

Here are a few tips and tricks on downsizing your home and your life:

  • Schedule the Downsize: Dedicate one hour a day to work on one area of the home.
  • Do you love it? Ask yourself, am I holding on to this because I love it or because I feel like I have to keep it. 
  • Do you know someone who would benefit from the item? Who in your community would benefit from this item. 

This is the hardest part but we know you can do it. And for more hints check out Next Tribe Age Boldly. They have a great link to a blog about the Swedish process of downsizing your home

Create Boxes for Family and Friends With Their Memories

Make a space in the basement or the garage and start creating memory boxes. As you go through the house and find something that reminds you of someone special, put it in the box. This would include photos, school awards, and someone’s favorite coat they wore in high school. You can do the same thing for friends. Did you go on a trip together? Do you have photos you want to share?

Hold a Garage Sale

Time to get everything you do not want and host a garage sale. Remember the goal is to get rid of stuff, not overvalue something so no one buys it. Plan on selling furniture, tools, clothing, knick-knacks, and so much more. And if hosting a garage sale is not your jam, try out Facebook Marketplace or a consignment store. The goal is to sell off the good stuff. 

Give or Throw Away What is Left

Honestly, you need to just donate stuff. I have had friends who became paralyzed by the process and put everything in storage. Years later they are still dealing with that storage unit. You need to make room for your new life. 

Pro-Tip: We call Junk B Gone all the time for our clients. They literally will take everything that is junk or donatable and just make it disappear. Not all things are of use to other people. Time to get it gone. 

Hire a Real Estate Agent Who Has Resources

We cannot tell you enough how important it is to hire someone who is not only a good marketer. They also need to be EXTREMELY empathetic to your process. Downsizing your home is intense. And sometimes you need help. 

Start Here: Questions to Ask a Listing Agent Before You Hire Them to Sell Your Home 

Here Are a Few of the Families We Have Helped Over the Years Downsize their Home

  • Alki Mid-Century Home – Our clients did the math and knew they could retire early if they sold their house. And that is exactly what we did. Plus some!!!
  • West Seattle – Family home for over 50 years. There was so much love in this home. The dad decided it was time for him to move into a condo. And it was our job to make sure he had the resources he needed for the next phase of his life. 
  • Magnolia – Investors wanted to pay the family $400K for the home. We sold it for almost $800K. 
  • Kirkland – Our clients were left cleaning up 30 years of a car collectors home from their dad who was in assisted living. Our team got to work and sold this home for a record price for the neighborhood. 
  • Pinehurst – This lovely couple was moving out of state to begin what we call their simmer years. Those years where you are still working a little but are not totally on the grind anymore. The sale of this home propelled them faster into retirement. 

Fix What’s Broken

First off, your house is probably rad and you do not need to do a full remodel. But you do need to fix everything that is broken in the home. Why? You doing a simple repair means you sell your home for more money. Versus just selling the home in as-is condition. The majority of the homes sold in as-is condition spend more time on the market and sell for less money. 

Start Here: Fix What’s Broken. The more you do now the better off you will be when your home goes on the market. 

Our team includes handypeople, cleaners, movers, stagers, painters, landscapers, and everyone you need to make sure your home is ready! 

Move Out of the Home

We know this is a tough one. Where are you going to live? What if the home doesn’t sell? Well, we can tell you with 100% certainty that our downsizers who stayed in the home never left. Meaning that a big part of them was not ready to sell their home. And they could not sell their home. 

Our clients who moved into a temporary home (apartment or moved in with friends/family) sold their homes fast. And for more money than they expected. Trust us. You need to move to get the process moving. Both psychologically and physically. 

Prep the Home for Sale

Kim and Roy just recently listed a home in Ballard. And during the process, they did a very detailed blog and video about what it takes to prep your home for sale. And ultimately the goal is to be able to sell your home for the most amount of money to finance your next life. 

Start Here: How to Prep Your Home for Sale in Seattle

The process to prep the home for sale when you are downsizing your home:

  1. Fix What’s Broken
  2. Make it Pretty
  3. Stage That House

One of the best examples of how this process worked was for our listing in West Seattle. The client has lived in the home for 50 years. And together we did everything possible to make the home market-ready by following this process. 

Go Through the Diva Difference Process and Sell Your Home!

Our team just recently updated our Guide on How to Sell a House blog and we did a companion video. Here at Team Diva, we are super detailed about how we help our sellers get their homes ready for the market. 

Ten Steps to Sell a Home in Seattle aka the Diva Difference

  1. Choose a Listing Broker That is a Good Fit For You
  2. Conduct a Detailed Walkthrough With Your Listing Team 
  3. Fix What’s Broken
  4. Make It Pretty
  5. Market the Heck Out of It
  6. Strategically Pricing Your Home
  7. Diva Marketing Go Time
  8. Evaluating Offers
  9. Your Home Is In Contract!
  10. Closing Day!!!!! 

We could go on and on about the home selling process. But really you need to call a Diva and get the process started. They will help you come up with a detailed list, help you hire contractors, and set you up to live your best life. 

Bonus: Live Your Best Life!

No really. Go out there and live your best life. Use the funds from the sale of your home to fund your simmer years. You know the dream. The one where you open up a cute cheese shop. Or you buy a van and spend your winters in Mexico. Go out there and live your best life!  

Now You Know How to Downsize Your Home

How to Sell Your Home in SEattle Guide

Now the hard work starts. Time to figure out where you want to live and what you want to take with you. Just to make sure you are on the right track, here are the steps you need to downsize your home and move on to your best life! 

Steps on How to Downsize Your Home

  1. Know Where You Are Going First Before Starting 
  2. Take Only What You Need for Your New Life
  3. Create Boxes for the Family With Their Memories
  4. Hold a Garage Sale
  5. Give Away What is Left
  6. Hire a Real Estate Agent Who Has Resources
  7. Fix What’s Broken
  8. Move Out of the Home
  9. Prep the Home for Sale
  10. Go Through the Diva Difference Process and Sell Your Home!

We are here to help. Our team understands that this process can take a year or two. And we are more than willing to give you a personalized plan to get the ball rolling. Feel free to contact us directly at thediva@teamedivarealestate.com or call/text 206-271-0264

Chavi Hohm

Chavi Hohm

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