The downsizing timeline

For many homeowners, downsizing their home can be the start of a new chapter but the process can take some time and consideration with a downsize taking anywhere from a few months to around 12 months.

Key considerations when planning your downsizing journey include considering:

  • Your ideal lifestyle
  • Your location options
  • Decluttering and tidying up your prized possessions, and
  • Preparing your house for sale

Twelve months before – think about lifestyle and location

  • Have a conversation about downsizing with your partner, friends, or anyone else you trust. Use the conversation to discuss why you would like to downsize
  • Decide on a location or two that you’d like to live in. Once you know your favourites it will help narrow down the search list of places to live
  • Consider the range of lifestyles to choose from – sea change or tree change? Stay in the area you know? Live closer to amenities or families?
  • If it’s still not clear on where you want to live, create a list of pros and cons and score them to see which option wins.

Nine months before – declutter

  • Start to clear your clutter, pull out all the unwanted items in your wardrobes, cupboards and garage to give away to charity or sell online or in a garage sale. One of the benefits to downsizing your home is the ability to reduce excessive furniture, electronics, appliances, trinkets and items that may not be used anymore or do not serve a purpose
  • Action, finish and file away your important paperwork (Wills, POAs, etc) – make copies and send to your solicitor or someone you trust
  • Review your finances and do the numbers on what you can afford to spend on a new home.

Six months before – prepare

  • Put your best foot forward and commence those last DIY jobs around the house to prepare it for sale ensuring it’s well-presented for the type of buyer for such a home
  • Neaten up your landscaping and tidy the garden
  • Start to interview real estate agents and plan your sale strategy. If you’re expecting a 90 or 120 day settlement, now is the time to commit to this
  • Start making enquiries into where you want to live. Take tours of their display homes, review the floor plans, enquire about prices and what’s currently available or coming up
  • Now that you’re on your way to finalising the sale of your family home you should be in a good position to secure your brand new one – attend open homes, visit communities and start a conversation with your local sales manager to work out what’s the best solution
  • In some instances you can place a small deposit to secure your new home while you finalise the sale of your existing one
  • Once you have paid a deposit and feel comfortable with your decision, and pending house sale, the next step is to sign a contract on your new home in which the sales manager should step you through.

Four weeks before – finalise and start living your new lifestyle

  • Book removalists and commence conversations with utility providers to arrange connections for electricity, gas and water
  • Pay a final settlement balance on your new home
  • Start packing up, taking your downsized essentials with you… or this is the time to now go shopping for new furnishing and homewares
  • Collect your keys, move in and relax… enjoy your brand new home and downsized lifestyle.

Simplify, think big and be happy

Your road map to downsizing starts here!

Our Downsizer Toolkit can help prepare you for your downsizing journey.