Your empty nest represents a new opportunity. Finding the right home to support your new lifestyle requires a plan, but need not seem daunting. Five steps can help you get it right.

Many life stage changes lend themselves to a discussion about how your home can continue to support your family as your needs, priorities and lifestyle evolve over time. Perhaps none of these is more dramatic than the empty nest. Once your children are grown and (mostly) self-sufficient, the demand on your home can change significantly.

Several common issues include:

  • Too much home. Cleaning, maintenance and other issues can be more complex as you age and you may find yourself supporting more home than you need.
  • Misconfiguration. You may have the right square footage but the configuration of it is challenging. Stairs are tougher to manage and space for daily living is more spread out than you’d like.
  • Expenses. Perhaps you are helping fund education expenses or settle into retirement and wish to devote more resources to travel, hobbies and other pursuits rather than mortgage payments.
  • Health considerations. Acute or chronic, health issues can be complicated by some of the other examples like cost concerns or a poorly configured home.  Additionally other factors come into play like a poor location or simply a desire to prepare for the future.

Regardless of the reasons, a shift to downsize can create anxiety as you feel compelled to plan, but may lack an understanding of how best to accomplish a transition. Several steps can help you take control of the situation, understand where you are, where you are heading and how best to get there.

Understand the Value of Your Home

Selling a Home Contingent

The first step when building a plan is to understand your financial situation. This begins with a valuation of your current home. This will tell you how much you can expect to net in a sales transaction, how to maximize this amount and how closing costs and other expenses may impact your bottom line. A comparative market analysis from a knowledgeable agent who specializes in your specific geographic area can help immensely.

Define the Action Items to Maximize Sale Proceeds

The right agent will not only be able to put a number on your home, he or she will also be able to list the updates that might move that number. Frequently there are small changes to consider that may more than pay for themselves in final sales price. This requires an agent who knows the competitive landscape of your area and how your home stacks up.

Build Search Parameters for your New Home and Walk through some Contenders

Armed with a market analysis and an understanding of your budget, you are now ready to see what is out there in terms of inventory. An agent should work with you to set up a customized search to email you potential properties. Many find the home search to be the most satisfying step along the way as they envision their lives in a new home.


While that properly configured internet search can help you make the most of your time, there is no substitute for walking through several listed homes you think may be close. Do this with your agent who will ask questions to clarify what works and doesn’t, and can take those discussions to heart as he or she sources additional properties. This hands-on approach can prove invaluable as a professional will look at a home much differently than an eager buyer may. They see 100s of homes and can use the wisdom gained over time to make sure you are carefully considering multiple angles.

Contingent Sale Home

Get the Order Right

Perhaps the most important portion of buying and selling homes is coordinating timing. From the updates to your current home to staging and listing it and finding your new home, this is a delicate dance full of nuance. A knowledgeable agent can help lay out a timeline as well as understand if it makes more sense to list first, or find your next home. Market conditions, inventory and seasonal concerns can all impact this and coordination is key.

A Custom Plan

The bottom line is that there are so many variables, getting it right requires collaboration with the right partner. That is the through line to the entire process. Every situation is different and while the basics likely apply to many, a successful plan must be carefully constructed and adapted to your needs.


Zach Adams has experience in the west metro of Minneapolis that is unmatched. He has 100s of transactions under his belt and decades of experience. He is constantly monitoring market conditions that shift weekly and has the insight and drive to deliver a successful outcome for you. A consultation is always free and begins with listening to what matters to you and adapting any plan to put you at ease and empower you to direct the many resources at his disposal.


Zach would love to earn your trust and begin a long term collaborative relationship. Contact Zach directly to get started 612.845.7890, or complete the form below.