Transition Thursday: Baby Boomer Parents: Your Grown Children Don’t Want Your Stuff

Baby Boomer couple with moving box

In her article “Boomer parents: ‘One day, this will all be yours.’ Grown children: ‘Noooo!’ ” Samantha Bronkar, staff writer at the Christian Science Monitor, relays the message that the grown children of downsizing baby boomers parents don’t want their  collections of stuff.

“As baby boomers begin to downsize, they are discovering their grown children do not want their stuff. In fact, they recoil in something close to horror at the thought of trying to find room for collections of Hummels and Thomas Kinkade paintings.

Two hundred stuffed animals, two violins, and a 7-1/2 foot-tall Christmas tree: That was just a corner of the possessions Rosalie and Bill Kelleher accumulated over their 47-year marriage. And, they realized, it was about 199 stuffed animals more than their two grown children wanted.

Going from a four-bedroom house in New Bedford, Mass. – with an attic stuffed full of paper stacked four-feet tall – to a 1,300-square-foot apartment took six years of winnowing, sorting, shredding, and shlepping stuff to donation centers.

Among the possessions the Kellehers are keeping are three hutches – one that belonged to his mother, one that belonged to her mother, and one that they purchased together 35 years ago. One shelf is carefully lined with teacups Rosalie collected during her world travels. Another houses a delicate tea set from Japan, a gift her mother received on her wedding day.

‘We really don’t need them,’ she admits.”

Neither do their kids.

Read the rest at The Christian Science Monitor

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: Helping the Elderly Downsize

In her long career as a psychiatrist, Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross has been described by friends and colleagues as practical and calm. But two other traits, humor and patience, went right out the window when she decided to downsize.

“You ask yourself what you want to keep, and the answer is ‘everything,’ ” said Dr. Harrison-Ross, who turns 80 next month. “It’s an emotional roller coaster that takes a toll on you. It’s very tiring.

“I thought I could get down to the bare essence of things myself,” she said. “But that proved to be very difficult, much more than I had expected.”

Her solution: Dr. Harrison-Ross hired a senior move manager.

Read the rest at The New York Times

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: 10 Best Retirement Steps to Take Right Now

Chalk drawing of house and dollar sign on blackboard1. Have a discovery phase
Call it an assessment, checkup or discovery, but a key part of planning for retirement is taking an overall look at what’s going on. See where your money is invested, check the performance and scrutinize your contributions. Online tools, such as Bankrate’s best retirement calculator or retirement income calculator, can help you to see if you are on track to accumulate enough money to meet your expenses and the live you want to live in retirement.

2. Learn the rules
The rules of retirement financing are complicated, but you don’t have to be Einstein to learn them. Get the lowdown on a couple of specifics. Should you be in a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA? One has tax-deductible contributions, the other has tax-free withdrawals.

Social Security has different claiming strategies, and one notable loophole — “file-and-suspend” — is over. As you prepare for retirement, check your Social Security account to see how you might claim a bigger benefit by waiting until your full retirement age. At the very least, you should know that for every year past 62 you delay benefits, your monthly check increases.

Read more tips at Bankrate.com

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: 4 Tips to Start a Bidding War on Your Home

Chalk drawing of house and dollar sign on blackboardPrice low to sell high.

Listing on the high side and testing the market doesn’t work. Your home will sit on the market and you are helping the neighbor down the street to sell his home. Listing below market value will attract attention, increase traffic flow and generate showings in the first few days.

Set a deadline for offers: Yes, this is scary, as you may not get any offers. Yet, it can light a fire under the procrastinators. Agents and buyers like to know the expectation of when contracts will be reviewed. You can wait until the first weekend of open houses to determine if this is the best course of action for your property.

Spark interest ahead of time:

Announce your Coming Soon listing before placing the details on the multiple listing service. Using social media channels is a strategic way to begin creating a buzz. Mass emails to potential buyers and realtors is also key. You can also list the home on the MLS, but state no showings are allowed until the open house. People want what they cannot have.

Create a unique open house experience:

People want to come to a party. How about a neighborhood sneak-peek? I had a lovely property with a pool cabana and offered chair massage. Another, I hosted an art show. The next will offer interior design tips from my stager extraordinaire. Stand out, be different and entice people to come see the home and experience it for themselves.

Savvy Seller’s Section: 4 Tips to Start a Bidding War on Your Home

Price low to sell high.

Listing on the high side and testing the market doesn’t work. Your home will sit on the market and you are helping the neighbor down the street to sell his home. Listing below market value will attract attention, increase traffic flow and generate showings in the first few days.

Set a deadline for offers: Yes, this is scary, as you may not get any offers. Yet, it can light a fire under the procrastinators. Agents and buyers like to know the expectation of when contracts will be reviewed. You can wait until the first weekend of open houses to determine if this is the best course of action for your property.

Spark interest ahead of time:

Announce your Coming Soon listing before placing the details on the multiple listing service. Using social media channels is a strategic way to begin creating a buzz. Mass emails to potential buyers and realtors is also key. You can also list the home on the MLS, but state no showings are allowed until the open house. People want what they cannot have.

Create a unique open house experience:

People want to come to a party. How about a neighborhood sneak-peek? I had a lovely property with a pool cabana and offered chair massage. Another, I hosted an art show. The next will offer interior design tips from my stager extraordinaire. Stand out, be different and entice people to come see the home and experience it for themselves.

JUMP into the Real Estate Market

June is the month for graduations, Father’s Day and the first days of summer and also a great time to jump into the real estate market! mp into real estate. Jump into Real Estate

June is the busiest home-selling and home-buying month in our area. With the warmer weather, more daylight, and the impetus to get into a new house before the next school begins, buyers are more likely to shop during this time of year. Summer is also the most convenient time for the majority of people to move. Sellers’ who are looking to stay in the area have a greater chance of finding their next home with the most inventory listed now.

There are pros and cons to the busiest selling month.

With more houses on the market, buyers can afford a bigger wish list. If your home needs repairs, buyer might simply pass it by for the one down the street. Add in the fact most buyers aren’t shopping under pressure and you have a pool of selective shoppers.

Bidding wars are a headache for buyers but a big plus for sellers. Multiple offers mean more money in a seller’s pocket. It also usually means buyers are less likely to make repair requests or other demands. Lastly, interest rates remain extremely low which continues to keep the buyers out in force and actively house-hunting.

10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling

10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling.  Mom was right. She taught me honesty is the best policy which is why I must tell it like it is, if you want to have any chance of success in selling your home. This article won’t be for the faint of heart as we’re being brutally honest. Ready? If you get a bit uncomfortable then you know I’m stating the truth. You DO want an honest Realtor on your side, don’t you?

What are the 10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling? 

10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling

10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling

  1. Understand your local Real Estate Market –  What’s happening today, this week? What happened last month? If you don’t know, make sure your Realtor does. For instance, in a neighborhood I sell a number of homes in each year, The Woodlands in Walnut Creek, I sold a home ‘off market’ and another ‘pocket listing’ just closed escrow.  These home sales will impact what other homes will sell for as they are comparable sales. If your Realtor doesn’t know, find another Realtor. Real Estate will always be local and to be able to sell your home, it’s critical to know what the local trends are for your neighborhood.
  2. An uncluttered home sells – A messy, over-packed home knocks thousands of dollars off your bottom-line, net proceeds.  Yup, a big chunk of money can be lost for not putting in a little elbow grease.  Perhaps one of the greatest payoffs to home selling will be the time you spend cleaning and de-cluttering your home. While you are at it, take off all the family photos and personal items from your walls, shelves and refrigerator. Don’t forget the windows; they are the ‘eyes’ of the home and will let more natural light in if clean!
  3. Homes priced right sell – Price your home to sell. From the very first day that you list your home for sale, you will attract the most qualified and most interested Buyers. The first two weeks of a new home listing gets the most attention from buyers and agents. Your new listing draws the attention of Buyers waiting for a new home to hit the market when they have seen all the others that fit their criteria. Buyers who just started looking will see your home priced right, and will be rushing your way to get a closer look.  A listing that sits longer than the average days on market becomes stale and people begin to wonder why it hasn’t sold. They’ll either assume something is wrong with the home or that it’s priced too high. If Buyers think that something is wrong, they’ll want to make low-ball offers. If it’s priced too high for the area, you may not even get buyers wanting to preview it at all and you will have the dreadful disease called, “no showings!’
  4. You will be inconvenienced – Your home becomes a house for sale and it’s a paradigm shift that needs to be embraced. Your attitude plays a large part as to your level of stress during the process. Getting your home ready to sell, packing, keeping it clean all takes time and effort. You will have calls from prospective Buyers, and you will want to vacate the home while they are there.  When you’re able to anticipate this, it can make the process a lot less painful. This is part of the process and will pass…keep you end goal in mind which is to sell your home.
  5. Repairs left undone could cost more than the repair itself – Deferred maintenance can be a lot less expensive if you address it BEFORE you sell your home. You can’t hide the issues as buyers will discover them during their inspection period. I typically see Buyers either want a credit or want the repair done. When they see a simple repair that could have been fixed by a handyman/contractor they wonder what else is in need of repair. and if the home was properly maintained.  First time Buyers especially want to see a home with a clean bill of health and feel confidant they are making a sound financial decision. Having a clear ‘Section 1″ pest report is highly recommended to give Buyers peace of mind.
  6. Buyers love to negotiate the home sales price after the home inspection – After all inspections there will always be a hundred of little things and hopefully, you aren’t blindsided with an unknown major needed repair. Typically, buyers in Walnut Creek order a pest, home and roof inspection. Chimney and sewer lateral inspections are becoming very popular, as well. Sellers should know about major repairs ahead of time and disclose to Buyers prior to the presentation of offers. This way you know the offer reflects the defect.  As discussed above, fix your repairs so as not to give a Buyer a reason to want a discount, or worse yet, to back out of the contract.  The inspection period will require a skilled negotiator. Make sure the Realtor you hired, is an effective negotiator as they’ll be worth their weight in gold here.
  7. Buyers love to grill Sellers present at home showings – When a Buyer has schedule a visit to view your home, it’s important for you to leave for many reasons.  First, you want the Buyers to be able to walk around your home and feel comfortable without you following them around, as you want them to envision themselves living in your home. They need to be able to speak freely with their Realtor about their thoughts and feelings. More importantly, you don’t want them or their agents to try and wiggle out the details from you regarding why you’re moving that could give them a reason to offer you less money for your home.  If they learn you “need” to move and feel you are very motivate for a quick close they may offer less.
  8. Smelly homes sell for less money – Nothing is worse than a smelly home from pets, smoking or even cooking.  A thorough cleaning of your home, along with the fabrics, walls and carpets will go along way in removing pet, smoking and food odors.  If you have carpeting where pets had accidents, replacing carpeting would be must-do. You may need a restoration company to address some of these issues.
  9. Cash is not always King – When Buyers using financing compete with cash Buyers, they can make their offer look very appealing in a number of ways. First, their offer needs to written accurately without any errors and complete. Next, their Pre Approval letter must indicate their strong financial ability to secure the mortgage to buy the home. In addition, the Buyers can make sure that they’re going to follow specified time frames. Sadly, I have received all cash offers written poorly and worse yet, no proof of funds. Lastly, Buyer stories or what I call, “love letters” can pull on a Seller’s heart strings, especially if there are happy memories from living in the home. I have personally had home sellers who chose a lower priced offer, because they shared the cutest pictures and strongly expressed their love of the home!
  10. Overpricing your home helps to sell your neighbors’ – It’s true!  Picture this. Buyers are qualified to buy a certain priced home, so they’re looking at homes that they can afford. They will look for the homes with the most features, benefits, upgrades and square footage. Buyers might look at your home but will end up purchasing the larger home, in better condition for the same amount of money; it’s called value in the eyes of the buyer?
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5 Great Reasons to Sell During the Holidays

Most home sellers don’t want to sell their home during the busy holiday season. However, here are 5 great reasons to sell during the holidays:

5 great reasons to sell during the holidays

5 great reasons to sell during the holidays

#1 Home buyers looking during the holidays tend to be very motivated, serious buyers.

#2 Due to vacation time not yet taken, buyers often have more time to see homes for sale and may be looking during the weekdays.

#3 Buyers are more emotional during the holidays and tend to spend more money as a result. They may even have a tax incentive to buy before the end of the year.

#4 Many other sellers tend to take their listing off the market during the holidays, which mean less competition for you. The supply of homes for sale in January increases substantially. If you are selling and then buying, you will be well positioned to offer a non-contingent offer in 2016 when there will be more homes on the market to choose from.

#5 When we quickly find the buyer for your home, I can negotiate a longer close of escrow and a rent-back to extend your occupancy until next year.

Whether you are considering either selling or buying a home during this holiday season or waiting until January 2016, the correct timing depends on what is right for you and your family. Together, let’s create the best strategy for positioning your home on the market for a quick sale for top dollar.

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DOWNSIZING MADE SIMPLE – FIVE STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL MOVE WORKSHOP

DOWNSIZING MADE SIMPLE – FIVE STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL MOVE

DOWNSIZING MADE SIMPLE - FIVE STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL MOVE WORKSHOP

DOWNSIZING MADE SIMPLE – FIVE STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL MOVE WORKSHOP

At THE KENSINGTON
1580 Geary Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94597
Thursday, November 12th | 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Enjoy a complimentary lunch while Seniors Real Estate Specialist Dayna Wilson shares tips on downsizing to a more manageable home and answers the top 10 most often asked questions concerning planning for and making a later in life move.


Please RSVP (925) 943-1121
www.VintageKensington.com

Home Sellers – Preparation gets Results

Home Sellers – Preparation gets Results! It can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to prepare your home for sale. Did you know that my team has a full service program to make that happen?

Home Sellers - Preparation gets Results

Home Sellers – Preparation gets Results

If you are like our other sellers you are busy and feeling overwhelmed with what it may take to get your home ‘market ready.’ Just the thought of having to locate a reliable painter, picking out new carpet, dealing with a handyman for small repairs during work hours could make your head spin. My recent Walnut Creek home seller had no idea how much all this would cost, or even where to store his belongings during the process. I showed him how our contractor quotes the updates and repairs, line by line. I acted as his project manager-overseeing all the vendors, from handymen and cleaners to stagers and photographers. As the home seller, he can now just focus on his plans to be married in January! His home was prepared according to his budget and it is scheduled to close escrow next week!

Want to learn more? Call for a 15-minute consultation and I’ll show you how we’ve made this same plan work for our other happy clients!

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