The best part about being a Baby Boomer is the fabulous timing. Buying low and selling high comes naturally to this well-born demographic and Boomer timing in the real estate market is no exception.
With the Canadian housing market hotter than ever, now is an ideal time to cash in and downsize from a big, sprawling family home into a cozier, more efficient pied-à-terre. A new home base from which to launch your next phase of life: Less work, more travel! Less parenting, more grandparenting! Less stress, more wine!
Less house, more home
Selling and buying in such a fast-paced housing market, however, can be daunting. Many missteps can be avoided by following these five tips, inspired by the good folks at the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).
Read and understand everything before you sign. Don’t ‘get it’? Don’t dismiss it! Don’t be shy about asking for more explanation on anything and everything – that is what real estate professionals are for, and ultimately it will be your name on the bottom line.
Be sure you and your representative are on the same page. Great minds must think alike! Have an open discussion with your representative about how they will market your property and what you can do to help the process. Make sure you clearly communicate your priorities so that he or she can best represent you and achieve your objectives together.
Leave your emotions at the door. But it’s so hard when those glossy black double doors beckon! Inevitably, you will come across a home whose features really push your buttons and while it might feel like love at first sight, if it’s out of your price range or requires more work than you can handle, then you need to accept it as a mere flirtation, but ultimately, not your home.
Know your tolerance for risk. What keeps you awake at night, the fear of rising interest rates or the fear of prices dropping? The fear of having to carry two properties or the fear of not finding a new place you can afford? Many factors have the ability to affect not just your overall cost of living, but also your peace of mind, so it’s important to recognize your limits.
Be flexible and have a backup plan in place. When you get a great offer on your home, or you find the perfect nest, the competitive nature of today’s market means you need to act swiftly and decisively. Being physically – and psychologically – prepared for moving, purging stuff, storing things and finding temporary accommodations, will help smooth the transition.
In our own experience of buying and selling numerous homes over the years, we have learned a few things too. We’d like to add our own three tips for soon-to-be downsizers….
Good decisions are informed decisions. It is so much easier to make decisions when you feel confident in your knowledge. A real estate professional can access invaluable background details, such as comparable sales around the neighbourhood, sales histories of individual homes and local intelligence in the marketplace, such as new developments, zoning changes and demographic shifts.
Cooler heads prevail. We have always sought out the savvy real estate professionals who know our neighbourhoods and have either “seen it all”, or work within a team that contributes a vast amount of experience. When it comes to negotiating a deal, a great professional will instinctively know how to push for factors that concern you, can suggest areas where you might concede and know how to calmly and quickly close that deal!
- Quality of investment and quality of life are not mutually exclusive! The trick is to see a potential home, not for its crown moldings (which can always be added or removed), but rather for its quality as an investment and how it will contribute to the quality of your life. Again, it is your trusty real estate professional who can help you crunch the numbers and figure out what you need to be comfortable, while allowing ample room in your budget for wining, dining and visiting the grandkids!
For more excellent real estate tips and information visit: Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO)
This post has been generously sponsored by the Real Estate Council of Ontario, the opinions and language are our own.