Should you downsize?

Jennifer Herron Underwood 074

By Jennifer Underwood, Realtor, ABR, CRS, SRES

One of the most difficult life decisions to make is determining the right time to downsize your home.

Everything happens so quickly. You find yourself maintaining a home with too many bedrooms, as your children have grown and gone. The large yard you wanted to house a swing set now represents back-breaking lawn work.

To help middle aged people and seniors deal with the downsizing decision, several years ago I went back to earn a certification as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist. The training uniquely qualifies me to help home buyers and sellers over the age of 50 through these major lifestyle and financial transitions.

During a downsizing consultation, I come to the home to meet with the potential sellers. Usually the folks I work with are six months to a year away from wanting to sell their home.

We go over every part of the home to determine if it can be sold as is, or if there are issues that would be flagged during an inspection.

A lot of the time, sellers think they have to do a lot more than they actually need to when selling the home, which is a relief and savings to them.

If they decide to pull the trigger and put their house on the market, many other considerations come into play that I guide them through, such as organizing their documentation and financing.

I also ask a lot of questions to help them find their best-fit next home in a low-key, compassionate way.

Jennifer Herron-Underwood works at the Howard Hanna Real Estate Services offices in Westlake. She sells homes in Lorain, western Cuyahoga and Medina counties. Call her cell at 440-371-2862 or visit for more information. She offers a webinar series at