The Psychology Of Downsizing
Downsizing is one of the factors behind the demographic shift taking place in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, but that doesn’t mean everyone finds it easy.
Here are some of the psychological barriers people face when deciding to downsize, along with a few benefits sellers should keep in mind.
Common barriers for downsizers
Any real estate transaction involves its share of challenges, but downsizing commonly marks a later-in-life transition that comes with particular psychological and emotional factors, including:
1. Leaving a much-loved family home
Downsizers’ emotional connection with their properties is the top psychological barrier to making a move. Leaving the family home often marks the end of an era—it can be a truly painful experience for those who still live in the property and even for family members who now live elsewhere. Even if downsizing has been on the cards for a number of years, the reality of leaving a much-loved home can shock even the most pragmatic seller.
Recognising these emotions is part of the process. At the same time, it’s also important to focus on the financial and lifestyle benefits the transition will bring.
2. Facing a huge decluttering task
Even if downsizers are keen to move on from the family home, some can lose momentum and even start to doubt the idea of selling when they consider the amount of sorting, packing and discarding involved in making the move. Of course the longer a family has lived in a property, the more accumulated possessions and memories there are to be dealt with.
Along with calling on family and friends, two strategies that can help here include starting to declutter early in the downsizing process, and leaning on professionals to help sort, pack and move with minimal fuss.
Not knowing where or what type of property to buy next
Many downsizers are re-entering the real estate market for the first time in a number of decades, so uncertainty around which property will suit their needs is completely understandable. We commonly talk to downsizers looking to buy in Sydney’s eastern suburbs who have limited knowledge of recent market movements and the actual value of their own properties.
The benefits of downsizing
As you and your family take on the challenge of downsizing, it’s important not to forget the positives that are also part of the process, including:
- The increased leisure time that comes with a smaller property, fewer possessions and outdoor areas that are low or no maintenance.
- The lifestyle benefits of living in a more walkable location, or in a property that you can ‘lock up and leave’.
- The financial freedom that comes from selling a large family home, opening up possibilities such as overseas travel or simply a more comfortable retirement.
Above all, the key to a successful downsize move is timing. Get expert advice to make sure you sell and buy in a way that meets your own needs and makes the most of current market trends.