Downsizing isn’t just for empty nesters. There is a big trend in real estate right now showing more people opting for smaller homes. If this sounds like you, we’ve rounded up some great tips for how to downsize your home quickly.
From saving money to less cleaning and clutter, the advantages of downsizing your home are almost endless. To help you manage the stress of it all, we’ll go over what to donate, how to sell online, and where to start. Think of this as your go-to guide to downsizing your home.
Sell your home as-is to an iBuyer
If you’re looking to downsize your home quickly, one of the easiest options is to sell it as-is or to a cash iBuyer. For some homeowners, an illness, unexpected job loss, or disability, forces you to look for alternative housing. When this decision is forced upon you, the last thing you want to deal with is listing your home on the traditional market.
Selling your home entails showings, open houses, intrusive visitors, and the need to keep your house in mint condition. If you’re trying to downsize and sell your house, you may not have the luxury of time.
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This is where iBuying companies come in to save you time and money. With iBuyer, there is no need to stage your home, host open houses, or wait for it to sell on the open market. You’ll save in overhead costs, real estate commissions, and closing expenses.
Needing to downsize is stressful enough. Take some of the pressure off by taking advantage of these services.
Steps to downsize your home
Once you’ve decided to list your home and downsize, it’s time to get started organizing everything. You’ll want to start by going through your home and deciding what you want to take with you and what you don’t need anymore.
Go room by room and piece by piece thinking about if you need it at your new home. Downsizing is a freeing time. You’ll be free of stuff and you’ll have less house to manage.
Even if you haven’t found your new home, it’s never too early to get out moving boxes. Start packing some of the things you know you want to bring with you. Store them somewhere like the garage or laundry room so they aren’t in the way during showings.
You’ll then want to go through and think about what you’d like to toss, donate, or sell. If there’s anything you want to give to friends or family, start making calls and getting stuff out of the house. You can then start the process of selling the rest.
Sell your stuff with the house
Selling your items along with your home is another great way to get rid of the stuff you don’t want to take with you. This is especially helpful for large items that are difficult to move.
Let’s say you have a custom couch and king bed that fit perfectly in your home. If you sell them with the house, the buyers won’t have to buy something new and you won’t have to move anything. It’s a win, win situation for everyone.
To pull this off successfully, it’s helpful to list the furniture as a selling feature. In guest rooms, home theaters, or custom spaces, it’s a huge bonus to offer the furniture with the home. It’s up to you and your financial situation if you want to price the home to include the furnishings or sell each item individually.
When you’re trying to sell fast, don’t get too hung up on the price of each item. Take what you can for as much as possible. In the end, selling items with your home is the easiest route to go. There’s no need to sell them elsewhere and you won’t need to ship anything.
Factor in the ease and cost-savings into your list price. When you’re negotiating the sale of your home itself, focus on that first as opposed to the stuff. It’s more important to sell your house when you’re trying to move in a hurry.
Host an estate sale
An estate sale is another great way to get rid of furniture and belongings in a hurry. This also eliminates the need for you to pack anything up, drag it outside for a garage sale, or sell it yourself online.
With an estate sale, you hire a professional estate sale company. These companies specialize in getting everything in your home ready to sell. They will take care of all the logistics including pricing and labeling.
On the day of the estate sale, they also take care of all the transactions and sales. They make sure safety and theft measures are in place as well. People will walk into your home as if they are walking into a store.
All your items are labeled and priced to sell. Shoppers stroll through to inquire about items and purchase anything they wish to. Your estate sale company will also negotiate pick-up, shipping, and delivery of heavy items.
This is much easier than bringing everything out to the front yard for a handful of neighbors to see. With a professional estate sale, you also have the advantage of marketing and publicity. These companies have databases of people and media to reach out to. They’ll get the word out about your upcoming sale to ensure a nice turnout.
Purge anything you don’t use anymore
Purging is one of the best things you can do to downsize and get your home sold. When someone comes to tour your home, they want to imagine themselves living there. Seeing all your stuff is distracting. Help your home sell faster by purging anything you don’t use anymore.
Moving and downsizing will be that much easier as well. There is no need to pack and move anything you aren’t taking with you to your next home. When you’re trying to downsize, you need to purge to make space.
Start by going through everything in your home room by room. If you have to think about it too long, it’s probably a good idea to purge it. Anything broken or with missing pieces should be tossed away or recycled.
Anything in good condition can be sold or donated. Sort everything into piles, bags, or storage bins and label them accordingly. Once this is done, you’ll be surprised by how much stuff you were able to get rid of.
Think about all the time you’ll save on unpacking these items later. You’ll save on storage space as well. It will feel great to start off fresh with a clutter-free clean slate. Clutter has been shown to negatively affect your brain, mood, and stress levels.
Hire a haul away service for donations
For larger items that are hard to get rid of on your own, consider calling a charity that will pick them up. Old couches, desks, tables, and dressers, for example, are tough to get into a car on your own. If you aren’t using them anymore, give them away to a good cause.
Giving these items to charity will feel great for two reasons. First, you’ll be giving your stuff to someone who needs it. Second, you’ll have fewer things to worry about moving or getting rid of.
The pick-up service often comes at no charge. You won’t need to pay professional movers or call on family or friends to take stuff out for you. Check this item off your to-do list and feel good about helping someone in need.
D.I.Y. online selling tips
If you’d like to sell some items on your own online, there are a few takeaways that will make things easier. Selling your stuff online allows you to downsize and get rid of things you don’t need while making a little money. To help your items sell faster, we’ve rounded up a few easy tips below.
1. Take great photos
Photos are one of the key components of online selling. You want your photos to be as professional looking and polished as possible. Make sure you start with good lighting in a clean space.
Open windows and choose a time of day where you’ll have the best natural light. Dark photos don’t sell well. Keep the background clear so that the item for sale is the focus.
Try and take a few photos per item so that buyers can see all the angles. The more photos you provide the more confident buyers will feel.
2. Priced to sell
If you need to downsize in a hurry, you need to sell or get rid of things in a hurry. Holding onto items until you get the most money won’t help your downsizing efforts. Focus on pricing to sell.
While you don’t want to give your items away, pricing them well will help your items move faster. Buyers want to feel like they are getting a deal. The lower you go, the sooner your items will sell. This means less packing and more storage space at your new home.
Pricing these items to sell will help you in the long run. You’ll be free of extra stuff and you’ll have money in your pocket to put towards your new home.
3. Give accurate descriptions
When someone reads a description online, if it’s too vague they won’t trust it. Be as descriptive and honest as possible about what you’re selling. If something you’re selling has scuffs in it, let them know upfront.
If you don’t disclose all the information about your item, it could end up coming back to you or the sale could fall through. Get your stuff sold and give buyers all the details they need.
4. Sell on more than one website
Putting your stuff on more than one website will increase your chances of it selling. You want your items to be seen by as many buyers as possible. Choose a few to get started and you can add more from there.
Do a little research on which platforms to use. Check reviews and look at how long items on the site have been for sale. It’s important to feel safe and secure.
Social media is another place to consider. It’s free, easy to access, and you’ll be able to sell to people you already know. Remember to remove the item for sale on all the different platforms once it’s gone. Selling online is time-consuming but it will feel great to be rid of things and make some extra money.
5. Use flat-fee shipping or include it in the list price
One downside to selling online is that you’re responsible for packing and shipping your items. Everything you sell needs to be mailed or delivered to the buyers. To save some money, consider flat-fee shipping. Smaller items are placed into boxes that cost one flat fee no matter how much they weigh.
You can also build this fee into the listing price. If you’re selling something for $15 and the shipping will cost you $5, display this on the site. This way, the buyers are also paying for shipping and it won’t eat into your profits.
How to downsize your home quickly
Knowing how to downsize your home quickly will save you time and money. No matter your reason for downsizing, you need your move to go as quickly as possible.
A major part of downsizing is letting go of your stuff. Anything you don’t use anymore should go to charity or be sold in preparation for your move. Think about how much better you’ll feel after you’ve lightened your load physically and mentally.
The most important step to downsizing is getting your home sold. If you’re ready to start your next chapter, submit your address to get a free home offer and iValuation. You can skip selling on the traditional housing market and save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress.