Selling Your Home: Should You Do It Before or After Moving into a Legacy Community?

May 15, 2023

Deciding whether to sell your home before or after moving into a senior community can be a dilemma. While many older adults assume it's better to sell first, the reality is different.

In this post, we will explore the advantages of moving into a senior community before selling your home, providing compelling reasons why this may be the best choice for most seniors.

Exploring Your Options:
Senior communities offer attractive options for those looking to downsize. Many communities provide low-interest or interest-free entrance fee deferral plans, allowing you to move in and pay the fee when you sell your house. Some communities even offer bridge loans to facilitate the transition.

Convenience and Peace of Mind:
Moving first and then selling your home can bring several benefits. Selling a home is an emotional experience, particularly when downsizing. Heather Kobs, a Licensed Realtor for Keller Williams, believes that selling your home after moving into a senior community is often the better choice. Here’s why:

  1. Careful Selection of Furniture:
    Moving first allows you to carefully choose the furniture pieces you want to take with you, without feeling rushed to fit everything into your new home.
  2. Preparation and Staging:
    Once you’re settled in your new, airy home, you can clean and stage your house to present it in the best light to potential buyers.
  3. Pet-Friendly Showings:
    Moving into the senior community with your pets makes showings easier, eliminating the need to make special arrangements or find temporary accommodations for your furry companions.
  4. Show-Readiness:
    Your house will always be show-ready, as you won’t be residing in it during the selling process.
  5. Realtor Flexibility:
    Your realtor can hold open houses and showings without restrictions, maximizing exposure to potential buyers.

Assistance and Support:
Senior communities have dedicated staff available to assist with your move. Most communities provide comprehensive moving assistance, partnering you with a Move-In Coordinator who will guide you through the process. The Legacy Move-In Resource Guide offers recommendations for realtors, stagers, and detailed instructions on rightsizing into your new home.

Rightsizing with Time and Planning:
By waiting to sell your home, you gain time to select the best furniture for your new space based on functionality and available floor plans provided by most senior communities. Planning and organizing your new home becomes an enjoyable experience when you have ample time to decide how to decorate and make it your own.

Staging for Success:
Proper staging can significantly increase the sale of a home, with the National Association of Realtors stating it can boost sales by up to 20%. Removing excessive furniture, clutter, and personal items makes your home more appealing to potential buyers. An empty house offers the best opportunity for staging and showcasing its full potential.

Downsizing Tips:
Selecting your favorite furniture can be a meaningful process. Heather Kobs suggests involving your family in choosing memorable keepsakes before offering the remaining items to the public. A non-confrontational approach, such as drawing numbers to take turns, helps ensure everyone feels good about the process. This way, cherished items find new homes, and individuals can retain keepsakes from their childhood home.

Reducing Stress:
Selling a home while still living in it can be stressful, especially for older adults. Vacating your home last minute for showings, maintaining a decluttered environment, and hiding evidence of pets can be impractical and emotionally challenging. Avoiding this situation by moving first allows for a smoother selling process and comfortable decision-making.

Exploring Financial Solutions:
As you contemplate your move into a senior living community, it’s important to be aware of the financial options available to you. If selling your home first is necessary due to financial considerations, one viable solution is to explore the range of lending products known as “Bridge Loans.” These loans are specifically designed to bridge the gap in the relocating process, and lenders are continuously expanding their offerings. Don’t hesitate to consult your realtor about these lending products for more information and assistance.

Embracing a Stress-Free Transition:
Research consistently ranks moving as one of the most stressful life experiences, often triggering feelings of anxiety. However, there’s a simple way to make the process easier and more manageable: consider moving into your new senior community first and selling your home later. By giving yourself more time to sort through a lifetime of memories and gradually transition into this exciting new phase of your life, you can minimize stress and maximize enjoyment. Remember, the dedicated Move-In Team at The Legacy Senior Communities is committed to ensuring your rightsizing journey is smooth, delightful, and stress-free.


Valuable resources to help you navigate your senior living experience.



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