Picture this: you’re ready to help a new client sell their home so that they can move to a smaller condo close to family. After earning your Seniors Real Estate Specialist® Designation, you’ve got the knowledge, tools, and resources necessary to make their move a smooth one. However, when you get to their house to help with staging, you’re overwhelmed with the amount of items cluttering the home. Just like that, what you thought would be a smooth process has now become a lot more difficult. You start thinking, “Where is all this stuff going to go? This will never fit in a smaller home, let alone a smaller condo.”
Tips to help clients downsize
Don’t give up yet! Helping that client downsize and get rid of some bigger items can be a lot easier than you think. Here are some tips to help simplify the process.
Stay on task and on schedule
When your client begins thinking about downsizing, it’s important to help them stay on task and adhere to a specific time-line or check list. It’s easy to procrastinate and wait until the last minute to worry about where all that stuff is going to go once moving day comes. However, the longer you put it off, the more stressful things can get.
Plan for the new space
To begin, plan ahead by helping the client figure out how much space will be available in their new home. See if they have a floorplan available that you can take a look at. An idea of how much space the client will have can help narrow down which items will make the move with them.
Use a tagging system to categorize items
From there, work with your client to separate and tag the items that will stay behind into different categories. What items can be donated? What items will be sold? What items can go to children or other family members? Creating a tagged system like this can streamline the downsizing process and will help keep your client organized.
While helping them figure out which items will go where, try and stay empathetic. Many people attach memories to their belongings, making it hard for them to say goodbye. What may look like a piece of junk to you, may have sentimental value to your client. Keep their feelings in mind as you help them make the tough decisions.
Help get belongings where they need to go
Once your client has finished deciding on where everything will go, it’s time to get everything to its respective place or new owner. The client may have family members or friends nearby that will be willing to assist with getting these items where they need to go, but in the case that they do not, consider helping them hire a downsizing professional or moving company to take on the burden of transporting everything. As an SRES® Member you have access to different business partners, such as Everything but the House, that will do just that, creating a stress free move for all involved.
As space clears up in the client’s home, and moving day approaches, they’ll be thankful that they had an SRES® agent like you to help them navigate through the downsizing process. And who knows, you may just get a referral or two out of it as well!