How to Sell an Adapted Property

By accessibleproperty

February 18, 2022

To have the best chance of selling a retirement home could mean having to take a different approach than with a standard property. Here are some tips for achieving the best chance of success:

Get a Realistic Valuation

Browse through sold listings in the area (within the same development, if available) to have a good idea of what price can be achieved. When you set the asking price, take the cost of keeping a property unsold into consideration since the service charges can mount up quickly. It is better to name a lower amount from the outset and secure a sale faster than risk being trapped into paying thousands of dollars on an empty property.

It is also important to consider factors likely to affect the salability or value:

- If a new development has been built nearby recently, it will likely have a detrimental effect on resales.

- Older buyers are far more likely than younger buyers to be put off by a property that appears neglected since they are less inclined or able to spend their resources on renovation. So, it pays to make sure that everything is in good decorative order and that any minor repairs are done.

- Extra equipment such as hoists and handrails that may have been installed for the demands of later life can be off-putting for younger buyers, so consider removing them before you take photos. 

List with the Right Agent

Retirement properties generally require a different selling approach from regular homes and it is important for your marketing strategy to reflect this.

Besides online estate agents, or local estate agents it is also important to list with specialist retirement property agents whenever possible, since they have a better understanding of the intricacies of service charges, extra care provision, etc.

Specialist agents can also market the property to the right audience. Property managers at a retirement development can advise on real estate agents that they have a relationship with. Keep in mind, however, that some of the “specialist agents” aren’t independent, but act as resellers for specific developers.

Big firms may sometimes offer resale schemes that market pre-owned properties alongside their new-builds. The selling fees, however, may be higher than with traditional agents, and the developer may want to set unrealistically high prices. After all, it isn’t in the interest of the developer to advertise a second-hand property at a massive discount, which not only risks steering a buyer away from a new-build, but also highlights the decline in value of their product over time.

Check how proactively the property will be marketed: in many instances, the developer may do little more than simply list it on a section of their website and then wait for prospective buyers to call. Some developers have introduced a “put option” at some of their schemes that guarantee to buy back a property at the original purchase price, less a 10 percent assignment fee.

The number of truly independent agents that specialize in retirement properties is limited and you will even find that some of the biggest sellers are actually subsidiaries of housebuilders and only deal with properties on their own developments.

While there are some nationwide independent agents specializing in retirement properties, you will also come across local companies doing the same. Still, there are some nationwide non-specialist agencies that also list a decent number of retirement properties.

Be Proactive
If you fail to get results, you should consider refining your approach. Ask agents to report back on why the property failed to sell. You can then consider reducing the price or, if a quick sale is what you want, you should consider a different approach such as an auction.