If you’ve seen your children grow up and fly the nest and are left in a large, family home that’s too big for your needs, chances are that you’re planning to downsize at some point.
This is a sensible option, and for many pensioners is a good way of improving their financial situation by releasing some of the equity held in their property. However, it seems that the market for downsizers isn’t as buoyant as people would like.
Research conducted recently by Key found that many people are struggling to sell their properties and to find somewhere suitable to move to instead.
The estate agents who responded to the survey highlighted two barriers that are preventing some downsizers from selling their homes – dated decor and the properties being in a poor state of repair.
Dean Mirfin, chief product officer at the company, explained that these factors mean it’s taking longer for people to sell their homes.
“It may make financial sense for sellers hoping to make money to invest in home improvements before putting their houses on the market,” he suggested.
Of course, if you’re moving you’re not going to want to go all out with new flooring, soft furnishings and appliances. However, calling in a professional firm to make kitchen repairs or to fix any damage in your bathroom could be a good middle ground.
Last month we shared research from GoCompare, which found that 24 per cent of buyers are put off by old kitchens, while 22 per cent will walk away from a property with an old bathroom.
It’s therefore worth looking at your home objectively and seeing what areas you can spruce up without overspending before you put it on the market.