I’m a senior who was widowed a year and a half ago. At that time, my adult children persuaded me to sell my house. I’ve been living with two of them, but really miss my former home. Is there any way to get it back? – REGRETFUL
DEAR REGRETFUL: I’m sorry to hear of your husband’s passing, and of your unhappiness with your current arrangements. Downsizing under pressure tends to be very stressful. As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist, I typically advise my senior clients not to rush to put their homes on the market. Ideally, I want them to take the time to find a new place they’re excited about, so they can look forward to a move with optimism (rather than back with regret). If there’s no real sense of urgency, I suggest that folks try their new place for a month and see if it’s working, before making the commitment to sell their home.
In your case, it sounds like some decisions were made in haste. To make sure you’re happier moving forward, consider this: Are you in good health? Would you be able to maintain your former property on your own? Do you have the financial means to re-purchase your home, since it has likely gone up in value since it was sold?
It may be possible to buy your house back, but doing so might not be practical. Think about why you moved out in the first place. If the reasons haven’t changed, it might not make sense to go back now.
I hear that you’re not happy living with your children. What would make more sense for you now? Do you want to be close to friends and amenities? Is home upkeep a concern? Do you travel? Your next life-changing decision should be made at your own pace and with your own needs in mind. When you find a next home you’re excited about, I’ll bet the future will look much brighter.
We want to sell our condo, but are a little concerned about doing so at this time of year. Is there any way to speed up the process? – PRESSED FOR TIME
DEAR PRESSED: Properties sell year-round, though local volumes in December and January typically slow to a little over four percent of annual sales each month. In order to catch the eye of prospective buyers now, it’s critical that you price the property correctly, declutter it, and have it staged. This will ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.
You can put a bit of a rush on the selling process by ordering your status certificate in advance (which will cost you about $100). While some owners are adamant that the buyer should pay for this, it may slow down the process if they do. From the time a status certificate is ordered, the management company has a full ten days to produce it. When your property is sold and you’re waiting for conditions to finalize, those ten days can feel like an eternity!
If the sale happens to take longer than expected, there’s a chance that your status certificate may “go stale” and require an update. If this happens, it’s usually possible to have the management company revise it for little to no cost. I do this for every condo I list; it could be the best $100 you ever spend!