Fiona Dogan’s Complete Guide to Downsizing Your Home (2023)

Downsizing your home is a significant life decision, filled with both excitement and challenges. Whether you’re an empty nester, newly single, or simply seeking a simpler lifestyle, downsizing requires careful advance planning and expert guidance.

I’m a highly successful, seasoned real estate agent with Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty in Rye, New York. My 17+ year history of working with other clients in similar situations helps me understand the unique needs of homeowners looking to downsize their homes.

With my extensive real-estate knowledge and hands-on experience, I will help you seamlessly transition to your next home while easing your concerns and maximizing your financial benefits. My comprehensive guide will help you gain some valuable insights and make your downsizing journey a success.

The Financial Sense of Downsizing

Downsizing your home isn’t just about simplifying your life—it can also make excellent financial sense. Larger family homes often come with higher carrying costs. Energy inefficiencies, higher taxes, and significant maintenance and landscaping expenses can quickly add up.

By downsizing to a smaller home or apartment, you can lower utility bills, lower taxes, and eliminate multiple expensive running costs freeing up your liquid resources for other important priorities. Furthermore, taking advantage of today’s dynamic seller’s market can enable you to cash out at favorable prices and maximize your financial gains.

The Benefits of Downsizing Your Home

Maximize Your Returns: Downsizing allows you to take advantage of the current seller’s market, giving you the chance to cash out at a significant profit and maximize your returns.

Sell Your Property Quickly: Today’s real estate market is extremely efficient, providing you with an opportunity to go into contract within a few days and enabling you to move quickly to your next steps

Secure Long-Term Savings: Downsizing can often ensure immediate savings by reducing property taxes, maintenance expenses, and the overall management burden associated with a larger home.

Enjoy a Simpler Life: A smaller home means less space to maintain and fewer possessions to manage, offering a simpler and more streamlined lifestyle for you.

A Chance to Declutter: Downsizing encourages you to embark on the valuable process of decluttering, allowing you to let go of unnecessary possessions and create a more organized living space.

Align with Your Life Changes: Downsizing often accompanies significant life changes such as becoming empty nesters or entering retirement, enabling you to open a new chapter in your life.

Preparing to Downsize Your Home

Planning for a downsize move requires careful consideration and preparation, but the effort invested will pay off both on moving day and in the months that follow as you settle into your new home. Here’s my step-by-step guide on how to effectively plan for a downsizing transition.

Figure Out Your Budget

Create a detailed budget that lays out your current financial situation. Make sure to include all your monthly expenses, as well as annual costs like property taxes and insurance. Then, create a future budget “downsize” to compare it to. Analyzing the changes in expenses will help you understand exactly how your finances will be impacted by downsizing.

Make a To-Do List

Downsizing can be chaotic. To navigate this period more smoothly, it’s essential to have a meticulous to-do list that covers every aspect. Once you have secured your new home, be sure not to overlook crucial transitional steps, including setting up a clear timeline, strategizing storage solutions, decluttering effectively, planning the move-out/move-in days carefully, coordinating setting up new home utilities, and setting up repairs and interior decorating for your new home.

Understand the Current Housing Market

The most important step is to work with your trusted realtor to fully understand your current local housing market conditions. This knowledge will empower you to make informed choices about when and how to proceed with your downsizing plans.

With my successful track record as one of America’s best real estate professionals, I will partner with you to carefully explain the intricate details of the current housing market. With my expert guidance, we will navigate all the complexities of your real estate needs and set a course for a successful transition to your new, downsized home.

Prepare Your Home for Sale

Your agent will consider the condition and location of your home, as well as current comparable sales when determining the appropriate pricing strategy. Extensive preparation including inspecting, refreshing, and staging your home will dramatically improve your chances of selling at an over-asking price with possible multiple bids.

With my proven sales success, my strong business acumen, and my 24/7 focused client commitment, I will advise you carefully in determining the accurate listing price for your property, leading to a swift and successful sale.

Read more about my process here — How to Prep and Price Your Home for a Fast Sale

Find Your Perfect Downsized Home

Finding your perfect downsized home involves defining priorities, establishing a budget, and working with a trusted realtor. I will help you explore current listings, tour homes, view open houses, and help you define your most important priorities.  When we find your dream downsized home, I will handle the sales and closing process for you, including determining the correct offering price and terms, scheduling appropriate engineering inspections, and hiring an expert real estate attorney to guide you through the contract and closing.

Choose Fiona Dogan for Your Downsizing Journey

I have had the privilege of working with many wonderful downsizing clients in recent years, guiding them as they embark on their next real estate journey and transition into a new chapter in their lives. One recent client, Shari, shared her thoughts on our collaboration:

“What truly sets Fiona apart is her comprehensive knowledge of the real estate market. Her strategic approach to pricing and marketing my property showcased her expertise, resulting in a quick and lucrative sale. I wholeheartedly recommend Fiona to anyone seeking a broker who brings not only expertise but also a genuine sense of care and friendship to the table.”

It is indeed an honor and a pleasure to be by the side of individuals like Shari as they make these significant life transitions. If you’re looking for a dedicated broker who combines market expertise with a personal touch, I’m here to assist you every step of the way.

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