How do Seniors Sell their Homes today? At a Real Estate Auction
Many seniors once planned to sell their homes to finance their retirement care. But with both home values and investment portfolios shrinking seniors are now struggling to cope.
As reported in the New York Times, US News and World Report, and elsewhere, many seniors facing the prospect of long term care are unable to pay for their care today owing to the depressed real estate market. These aren't the classically poor seniors who've traditionally turned to Medicaid under these circumstances. Rather, these are elderly whose primary homes are their largest store of wealth, and they've planned on selling that primary home when the time was right and exchange the proceeds from that sale to secure a place in a senior living center, retirement home or other residence.
Facing what is perhaps the worst housing market since the Great Depression, most seniors will find it almost impossible to find buyers for their outdated homes. And, with the current glut of unsold houses in many markets, even reducing the asking price may not solve the problem.
Relying on traditional real estate sales methods to sell their existing homes has in many instances failed to produce results. The problem with this strategy, of course, is that elders' homes are frequently antiquated or need substantial repairs and renovations in order to make them marketable. Outdated wallpaper, old appliances and poor maintenance, all characteristic of these houses, often deter buyers. In other words, these homes, which their owners logically considered would be their guarantee of worry-free living virtually indefinitely, are literally unmarketable as-is.
Fix it Up or Sell It As Is? Do you want to invest any money into the home you are planning to sell? If you have a home that looks good on the outside, but is tired and worn on the inside, that will affect your selling price as well as the length of time the home sits on the market.
Time on Market. Another problem for marketable properties is the length of time on market "unsold" which exasperates the problem by adding additional holding costs and ultimately price reduction after price reduction.
Accelerated Marketing: An often overlooked real estate sales strategy called "accelerated marketing" is gaining wide popularity with outstanding results. Accelerated marketing is a real estate auction strategy and makes the most sense in many situations facing seniors today. The home is sold "As Is, Where Is". The Seller retains control of the transaction. Buyers like the auction method because they are buying at "true market value" that is one bid increment over the next competing bidder.
Zillow.com a provider of free real estate information reports that The National Association of Realtors predicts that by 2010 one-third of all properties sold in the U.S. will be sold at auction.
The auction method will sell the house to a ready and willing buyer, free of contingencies, repairs and sales commissions to the seller and typically brought to closing in 30 days. Commissions are paid by the Buyer. Broker and Agent participation in the transaction is welcome and encouraged.
Selling at Auction is no longer about distressed situations but rather about taking control and playing life forward. After all life is too short to worry about something that you can be in complete control of.
Copyright© 2009 Paul M. Roesch, Auctioneer, AARE