If you’re looking to downsize and move into retirement living, then an important step in that process is, of course, to sell your home.

This can often be an emotional journey – it is usually, after all, the home you’ve lived in with your family for decades – but it’s one that’s important to get right.

The first thing you should consider once you’ve made the decision to downsize is your real estate agent: are they the right one for you? Do they have experience selling your type of house, and the ability to get the best possible price for it?

It’s best to meet with your prospective agent, ask them plenty of questions about the sale process, and be sure they’re someone you can trust before you make a decision.

Get the word out – and think about the price

Next, consider sales and marketing. Your agent’s job is to make sure you get the best price for your home and in a reasonable length of time, so consult with them on how that will best be accomplished: when will you have open inspections? How will you advertise – online, in print, email? Will you go to an auction, and if so, how much lead time will you give, to get the interest of potential buyers?

Another important consideration is, naturally, the price you’ll want for the home. This will be informed by a few things, including how big your home is and the house prices in your area as well as neighbouring areas.

Your agent will help you work out a suitable price – be that a reserve price for an auction, or a price you’re willing to take offers on. Remember that if you need to sell up quickly, you likely won’t get the best offer you can for your home, as you’ll want to close the sale before you move out.

Final steps

Once you’ve sorted out all those details and decided on a price, you’ll want to make sure your home is presentable for prospective buyers.

That means cleaning and decluttering, but your agent will likely also have some suggestions on how to make the space as attractive as possible – new curtains, or a fresh coat of paint, or even just leaving a bowl of fruit out on the table.

Congratulations – you’ve sold the family home! Now all you need to do is get the legals squared away, talk to your financial planner, and make sure to settle on your new place: typically a village will want a settlement within 30 to 45 days of the sale, though some will want them to happen at the same time.

Of course, once you’ve done all that, you’ll still need to actually move… but the good news is, we have a guide for that as well.