When you build a cabinet, it's not a good idea to start hammering nails into boards before you have measured and cut them. When you bake a cake, you don't mix your wet and dry ingredients together willy-nilly; you have to start mixing all the dry ingredients first. Common sense dictates that you start at the beginning and go from there. What I see when people decide to downsize is people often starting in the middle. What is the middle? A real estate agent, and that agent is probably not the right supplier of services for them.
When you start with a realtor, you are starting with their information, and their professional lens and expertise. Don't get me wrong. Realtors have knowledge about selling homes, and that is a service you need. However, when you start with a realtor, you tend to get locked into a kind of tunnel vision. What you really need is a broader picture, because it's not just about selling your home. The advice you are getting from your realtor comes from their interpretation of your goals, which is often limited. Everything else that happens follows a sequence based on your realtor’s understanding of how it should go, and in our experience, this often leads to stress and frustration. Sometimes it works out, but it often does not. A smart real estate agent once said, “ the agent is like the running back and the mover manager is like the quarterback- reading the whole field and calling the appropriate sequence”.
Your downsize is more likely to be less stressful if you begin at the proper starting point. You should begin with a move manager. A move manager will help you see the whole of your transition, not just the sale of your home. You will be looking at all the elements of what needs to be accomplished so you can then plan around your timetable. The truth is, for a major downsize, you may need to start organizing your possessions long before you list your home on the market. By far, the biggest problem seniors encounter when downsizing is what to do with all their possessions. This involves knowing where you are moving, to know how much you can take. It involves dealing with your remaining property through sale, donation, removal, or transport to relatives or friends.
Start at the beginning. Talk to a move manager and start planning your transition. Start early, and get the information you need. Even if you are not planning on downsizing for a year or more, why not get the right advice, and learn your options. Don't underestimate how stressful this transition can be, and starting from the wrong place adds more stress.