Do you need to sell your home in a retirement community? Selling house in an over 55 community is slightly different than a traditional setting.
If you are over 55 and living in a retirement community, you may have changed your plans and have decided that retirement communities aren't for you. Occasionally this happens, especially when you're moving from a single-family home into a condominium development that has a homeowners association with strict rules.
It is easy for someone to get sick of a lifestyle they are not accustomed to. When you are the king of your castle, one minute and the next to have someone telling you that planting a garden isn't allowed can be frustrating. For some folks, these kinds of rules get old quickly.
It is important to emphasize what to know about retirement communities before making such a significant life decision. It is a crummy situation to have just bought, and know you'll need to pay a real estate agent a commission to turn around and sell your place. Let's face it, getting out of a situation like this will cost quite a bit of money.
Let's take a deep dive into some of the things you'll need to know when selling a home in a retirement community.
Communities for older homeowners are deed-restricted, meaning that clauses are limiting how you can use your property. Checking with your homeowner's association for rules and details will be important.
Research some recent sales of houses that compare with your property in size, number of bathrooms, garage, and square footage. Real Estate agents refer to this market data as real estate comparables or properties that are most similar to yours. They find "comps" by using the MLS database to pin down your property's value.
If you don't have a real estate agent yet, you can do some research independently. You can use some online resources to determine your home value. There are real estate portals such as Zillow and others where you can see sold properties.
Once you are comfortable meeting with a real estate agent, they should provide you with a list of recent sales in your area. According to data, the best month to sell is the first week in May.
With the popularity of retirement communities increasing every year, if your home is priced accurately and is near shops and transportation, you should find a buyer quickly.
Given how strong real estate markets have been across the country, you may have buyers bidding against each other if you can generate enough interest.
Another crucial considerations when selling a home in a retirement community is collecting all relevant association docs.
There are different rules in different states, but you will require certain things to move forward with your sale. When you live in a planned community that an HOA controls, there are no doubt going to be documents that a buyer will need to review and sign off on.
It will be essential to get these documents together, as the buyer will likely have a contingency in their contract for acceptable review.
Once you have established your home's price, it is time to prepare the property for potential buyers' arrival and, eventually, a home inspection. If you have maintained your home well since purchasing, you'll probably only have a few minor things to do. Some of the vital considerations should be:
If you are planning on trying to sell for sale by owner (which is not advisable), you'll need to have a plan in place to try to compensate for all the things a real estate agent would be doing for you.
You'll need to hire a photographer to take photos of your home and write the 'blurb' or summary of your homes' selling qualities. Any advertising should include.
You will need to target your demographic, that is, people looking for over 55 homes. Abide by the rules of communal living while being as creative as possible.
After a week or two of marketing, you will know where the sale is heading, and you may even have few prospective buyers. If not, you may want to consider hiring a top local real estate agent. Study after study shows you will net more money even after commission when working with a top local agent.
The longer the marketing drags on, the less likely you are to make a sale. So strike while the buyer is hot and get the deal closed.
When selling an over 55 housing choice, it makes sense to work with a professional who has some experience selling retirement homes. You want someone skilled at selling retirement properties. Take a look around and ask any of your friends if they can provide a referral. Seeking someone with strong credentials and a track record of success is always worth it.
Make sure you do your due diligence and don't rush into something as vital as picking a real estate agent.
None of this is as easy as it looks, and although it can be done, especially in a good seller's market, as you get older, it is a lot of work. Hopefully, you now have a better feel for what to know about selling a home in a retirement community.