“Pension freedom day” has been and gone in the UK, leaving elderly pensioners with the freedom to cash in their entire pot for a lump sum. The money is predicted by some experts to be invested in buy-to-let property, as retirees seek a steady income from continuing rental demand.
For others, though, it could provide the stimulus downsize their home or even move abroad. For those planning to move, buying a new property will also mean having to sell their current one. With many homes dating back a number of decades, the selling of an old home can throw up a number of unique obstacles compared to a more recent existing home or new build property.
We provide six simple tips to help pensioners sell a home:
Prepare to say goodbye
Everyone has belongings in their home that are not yet ready to bid farewell to. As someone who has been in their home for potentially most of your life, this will make moving out even harder. The first step, before putting your home on the market, is to sort through your belongings and work out what you would like to take with you to your new property. Once you have a list of things to part with, see if your family or friends are in need of new items of furniture (or, for items you cannot bear to leave behind but do not need, if they have any storage space). Then, consider a garage sale or auction.
Stick with who you know
Before you try selling to a stranger online or through an agent, check with friends, family and other acquaintances to see whether they would be interested in buying the property. This could save a lot of time, effort and cost.
Inspect the property
All homes have things that can be done to improve them, particularly when it comes to boosting their sales value. For older homes, though, there is also a high likelihood that things are broken or in need of repair: hire a professional to inspect your home so that everything is assessed in detail, from your boiler to your gutters. If you can do minor repairs yourself, this can help you to secure a better price.
Don’t DIY if you don’t have to
DIY can be intimidating, both physically and financially, but you do not have to perform home improvements before selling your home. One simple solution is to include a quote for possible work with the materials advertising your home, which will give your buyers an idea of costs to be factored in with their purchase price.
Homes can be dark places, especially if your property was built years ago with smaller windows. Replacing wallpaper with a lighter, more neutral colour, trimming back any bushes blocking the windows or replacing large curtains with small blinds could make your home more appealing to modern buyers.
Pay attention to changes in the area
Your area will have changed since you first moved in. Perhaps there is a new school nearby, or a nearby train station that has been built. Take time to familiarise yourself with such new features: they have become more important than ever to buyers trying to choose between a large volume of listings on the market.
Photo: Ben K Adams
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