How to Lose Money, Even When You Have Made 500% on Your Home

Residents living in their home for fifty years or more are just as likely to have sticker shock on real estate prices as current buyers do. Considering that many locals have lived in their residence for decades, their original purchase price was most likely in the five figures. Seeing a neighboring home listed for six or seven figures is astounding, to say the least. Considering what they stand to gain upon selling their current residence is even more astounding.

Some estimates put a home as the single greatest asset for adults 65 and older. While this older population has clearly made a good investment, they may not be financially literate on how to sell that property without being cheated of their full property value. To stand a chance to sell their property for maximum price, they need to make the right move the right way. Otherwise a builder or buyer will attempt to swoop in and take a home right out from under them for far below market value. Lack of local real estate knowledge could cause someone to accept far less than what their home is worth, thus turning a potential 500% growth on a home to much less.

When approached by a builder or broker, many older homeowners often agree to sell their home far below market value, primarily because they do not have an understanding of the current real estate market. Furthermore, quick sales appeal to the older generation of homeowners, as they can avoid people coming through their property or hosting open houses. Unaware of the costs of selling their home can also further dwindle their potential earnings. For some older homeowners, this may be the first time they have ever sold their residence. Many senior residents have lived in only one home their entire adult life.

Educating older homeowners on the current real estate market and the selling process is vital when it comes time to sell. Many older residents want to stay in their home for emotional reasons or because they do not want to go through the tedious process of selling their home. These are important considerations for a seller that has been in one residence for a long period of time. Overall, having been in a property for two or more decades puts a homeowner at risk of being out of touch with the current market and the homes true value.

An objective opinion is key when it comes time to sell. Getting several home appraisals should align the homeowner with a better expectation of what they should ask for when it comes time to putting a home on the market and setting the asking price. Working with a broker that is united with the interests of the seller is also important in understanding how to best handle the homeowner’s logistical and emotional needs.

Whether an older resident is downsizing, moving in with family, or buying into a new community, the home is one of the most valuable assets and careful planning can help get the most out of the equity.