Marketing a retirement property is even more complicated than selling regular homes. There are a lot of considerations to be made in order to mitigate the disadvantages. However, that is not to say that there isn’t a market for it.
According to the Office of National Statistics, life expectancy increased in 2019 after a period of stagnation. Women are expected to live up to 24 years after retirement, while men have 20 years. This means that retirement properties still have inherent value, and if you know what you’re doing, you’d be able to acquire great deals.
Here are some tips, considerations you can make and challenges that you have to overcome.
Prepare the property
Ensuring that retirement property is in optimal condition for the sale is still necessary. The marketing approach might be different from that of a regular property, but the preparation is just as important. The following are some tips on ensuring
1. Don’t underestimate the impact of doors (and the kerb appeal)
This may be obvious, but first impressions do matter. Majority of potential buyers have the tendency to decide whether they would buy the house or not before they even enter the house.
In fact, according to HomeOwners Alliance, 68% of homeowners said that the kerb appeal was critical in their choice of home. 51% said that a “well-maintained and attractive front door” was a necessary feature. So, consider sprucing up your property’s façade to attract as many potential buyers as you can.
2. Prioritise comfort
You have to consider the clientele when selling a property. Since you’re trying to market a retirement flat, ensure that all areas and rooms are neat and clean. You can even seek professional assistance with replacing or cleaning curtains, carpets, or any furnishings that tend to accumulate potentially harmful particles such as dust.
You can also consider depersonalising the spaces. This is quite an undervalued idea, but rooms that are essentially blank canvasses can seem larger and more comfortable. The idea is to provide as much space as possible to the buyer, and help them visualise their lives in their potential new home.
3. Consider the lighting
This goes to all properties in general. Lighting has such an underestimated impact when it comes to selling houses. Some sellers tend to forgo having to optimise the lighting fixture thinking that the homeowners are going to replace them anyway.
However, like decluttering, having a bright and more comfortable lighting will at once create an illusion of space and highlight the features of the house like the finishes and smaller details.
4. Think of the spaces
One of the biggest differences between a regular property and a retirement flat is the idea of spaces. Retirement properties tend to have more communal rooms and spaces such as lounges. This is necessary for the homeowners to be able to socialise as often as possible.
If your property already has adequate communal areas, make sure to highlight that in your listings through high quality, clear photos. This can help potential buyers get a good idea of what the property has to offer.
5. Play to your property’s strengths
There are features that can boost your retirement property’s value. For example, there are cases that having a panic button would help the potential homeowners to feel more secure. Also, the value of retirement properties isn’t just dependent on the house itself. Retirement properties come with the community.
If your property have these benefits, make sure to emphasise them to potential buyers. You don’t just sell the property, you also sell the lifestyle and the social benefits.
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Some considerations and challenges
Despite having a perfect and optimised retirement property, there is no denying that it is rarely a lucrative investment. Property expert Ross Clark says that the demand for “dedicated retirement housing is sluggish” despite the ageing population and “national shortage of property.”
So, the market is slow despite having a high demand. This is a tough obstacle, obviously. Here are some things to consider when selling in such a tough market.
1. Hidden costs and expenses
Ensure that the retirement property you’re selling is free of fees such as exit fees, service charges and maintenance bills. This applies for when you’re looking to resell a retirement flat you bought.
Because of this, keep in mind that buyers may also be weary of the terms and costs of your property. Make sure, then, to keep potential buyers informed before they make a decision to avoid complications in the future.
Retirement properties are notorious for having drastic depreciation. There are cases that in just a year, the value has gone down by two-thirds. In such cases, time is your worst enemy. The longer your property is on the market, the cheaper it becomes.
You also have to think carefully of the valuation of your property. This would help you in competing with other properties. You can look for sites that offer market appraisals to ensure that you don’t lose anything when selling.
3. The sales process
As you may have noticed already, the sales process for retirement properties is complicated. There are factors and complication that may be difficult for sellers to consider, however ready they may be. In such times it is almost always a good idea to consult a professional.
In choosing the estate agent, ensure that they are specialising in retirement properties. Specialists understand the challenges, obstacles and opportunities that come with the sale. They are also more well-equipped to handle the progress of sales especially in difficult markets. To make your relationship effective, you have to make your intentions about your property clear from the start.
When dealing with an agency, or even just a single agent, collaboration is key. The market may be difficult for retirement flats, but with the right planning and strategy, you can get good returns.
If you need assistance for selling your retirement flat quickly, then give us a call at 0191 486 2386 or complete the form short form below.
About Richard Mews
Richard has 31+ years of property experience, has been Chairman of several regeneration committees and has helped more than 600 homeowners and landlords get easy, stress-free personal solutions for selling their property. Richard’s goal is to give you unbiased help to receive a quick house sale, even if that means not working with him.