Moving to Senior Living? Tips to Prep Your Home for Sale


Spring has been known, traditionally, as moving season, and the time when many people are looking to buy a new home. But fall comes in a close second, and, if you want to sell your home quickly, real estate agents say October and November might be the best time to put it on the market. If you’re looking to sell your house and move to a senior community, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure it moves quickly and you get the most money you can for it.

That’s where home-staging comes in. When you stage a home for sale, you want to make it easy for prospective buyers to envision themselves in the house. You don’t want to put a lot of money into updating the kitchen, bathroom, or doing any major remodeling. It’s also not the time to re-decorate, since the prospective owners may not share your tastes and they’ll just re-decorate again after they move in.

Here are 5 easy ways to stage your home for a faster sale, so you can begin enjoying the ease and convenience of senior community living in time for the holidays.

1. Make your home inviting to visitors with seasonal scents. Pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg are the flavors and scents of the season. If you’re not up for baking, light scented candles to give your home a warm and welcoming aroma.

2. De-clutter the space. This step will not only help your home sell faster, but it will make your move easier, too. Enlist the help of friends, neighbors or your adult children to sift through your decades worth of stuff. If you have children and have saved their toys, games, photos, art creations, and schoolwork over the years, make a separate pile for each child. Now these things are their responsibility to keep, sell, or give away.

Now, take everything that belongs to you and/or your significant other, and make three of your own piles to keep, sell, or give away.

Here’s the good news: the fall is also the best time of year for garage, yard and estate sales. Spend a day enjoying the cool weather and earn some money toward moving costs with a yard sale that can help you reduce your clutter.

Take anything that’s left and either have someone help you sell it on eBay, donate it to your local church, Goodwill store, or Salvation Army or just throw it away if it can’t find a home.

3. De-personalize your surroundings. With all the clutter gone, your house is getting closer to looking like a showroom, which is exactly the appearance you want for successful home staging. Look around and minimize the amount of family photos. Put them in a box to hang in your new location; you might even want to update the frames for a fresh look in your new space.

Pack up any trickets, knick-knacks, and collectibles that you want to keep for your new home; you’ll get a jumpstart on packing while making your home look more appealing to a family thinking about purchasing it.

5. Paint in neutral colors. If your walls are in good shape and painted in neutral, mainstream colors (think pastels and earthy tones), there’s no reason to re-paint. But if your living room has a fire engine red wall, a chair rail, and patterned wallpaper from the 70s, it’s time to update. Wood paneling? Hire someone to take it down and paint. If you’re anxious to sell and want to get the most money for your home, it’s worth the investment. Real estate agents and professional home stagers recommend neutral colors like beige and cream for a faster sale. This palette offends no one and lets prospective homeowners visualize their own style in the space.

5. Add curb appeal. Finally, you’re ready for the finishing touch in home staging. Enlist the help of adult children or hire a landscaper or even a local teenager to rake the leaves and trim hedges. Keep the front steps neatly swept, and update the entry with a nice welcome mat.
The efforts will be worth it when your home stands out from others on the market and you can head off to your next adventure in a friendly senior community.