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  • Writer's pictureBy April Sage

It’s Time For The Next Chapter, Now What?


We are in the high season of moving. I wanted to share a few tips about the proper cycle of putting a house on the market and the necessary steps following. This is typically an apprehensive step when closing one chapter and opening the next. For this reason, I wanted to provide a timeline I put together with a friend. Debbie Wise is a certified agent specializing in senior home sales in the South Puget Sound area. She specializes in the transition from a home of hoarding and disrepair to show-ready. Here is a quick list of what to expect from a home sales timeline:


Do your homework. Engage a senior certified real estate broker who will help you determine the net proceeds estimate. They are trained in the unique needs of the aging community, their households, and work with partners who have a similar focus on a mature demographic. A certified broker will help you time the sale of your home for market readiness and give you the best guestimate on the sales cycle.


Engage a planning coordinator like me. A placement agent/advisor/coordinator will do the heavy lifting of calling the properties. Having someone like me make the calls will ensure your information is protected and I know how to keep your name off their soliciting lists.

Establish a timeline. By the time you decide to put down a deposit with an assisted living community we should really have a timeline in place. While some circumstances don’t allow for future planning, we can get you moved faster, but it’s a general good rule to have the necessary next steps planned out. We can create this timeline together.


Establish a home repair plan. Start hiring out repairs, landscape needs, and identify a date to have packing complete with staging prepped. Your agent should have all the contacts and references for these services. There are ways to have these services covered without draining the savings. Your agent can guide you through the process.


Identify the location where you plan to move. We tour multiple places to ensure the property is a comfortable fit that meets your unique needs. Next, put down a refundable deposit and review the floorplan with dimensions. We plan for access to doctors, family, and other necessary conveniences. Can you picture some aspects of your new fresh start?


Map out your timeline. When do you expect to move? 30/45/60 days? Find out about the deposit criteria. Plan timing with your advisor, new community, and realtor to help brainstorm how to support you best.


Start packing. What are you bringing? Pick, label, and set aside your most important items. Be thoughtful about space and what you will truly use when you are living in the new place. The need for a China hutch isn’t necessary.


Label remaining items. Donate/hand down/trash/shred. I like the color-coded tag process. Green sticky tab means go with (keep), pink means give away, yellow means maybe/still considering. Set aside items going to new place. A temporary storage unit can be helpful if your timing is a challenge for the assessment of items. If you don’t know what to sell or donate then, it’s best to hold onto certain mementos for a period. That way, you don’t end up regretting getting rid of things quickly. Emotional ties are worth the extra step.


Sign papers and list the house.


For the last 12 months, I have been reminding people there is a top dollar gain from listing now versus later. The market is cooling, but it’s not cold. Being mentally prepared for this process to move quickly is important. When we feel deeply connected to our memories and unsure of our next steps, this can be harder to move through. Seek the love and care of friends and family around you who want what’s best for you. Ask them to accompany you on this journey of touring, downsizing, and big decisions. It’s important to get their perspective. They usually understand how you process, your past chapters, and can give advice based on experience or knowledge of what helps you move through change. Remember that the people who really love you will choose the path that will give them more time and healthy days with you.


When researching online for possible places to move, information about selling your house, or senior options, be careful what you click on and what information you type onto the computer on a website. These sites are made to capture your information, and by sending it to them, you have authorized them to call you and share your information with their third-party partners. Avoid this, or you will be inundated with calls and emails. Start by calling the property or contact first and ask your questions over the phone. Then do your homework. It’s worth the extra effort.

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