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There was a movie that came out in 1991 titled “What about Bob” starring Richard Dreyfus as a psychiatrist, and his patient “Bob”, played by actor Bill Murray. The movie was nominated and won awards for its comedic appeal. In the movie, Richard Dreyfus treated “Bob” by having him take “baby steps” into overcoming his fears and anxieties. So what does this movie have to do with retirement living? The same fears that “Bob” had of making decisions/trying something new is similar to the anxieties many seniors have regarding their future. Although the movie was highly entertaining, the premise of taking baby steps is something that seniors can use to help decide if they should stay in their current home or move. By breaking down the decision of moving or staying into small steps with the realization that each step does NOT mean you have to make a commitment, will allow you to come to a decision. So what is the first step? It’s acknowledgment of probably your biggest worry and obstacle- that of selling your house. Will it sell, when, how much is it worth, what repairs would I have to make before it is put on the market …?

So let’s take a baby step:
Step One: call an experienced real estate agent and ask them for an appointment to come to your home and talk to you about selling your house. You don’t have to paint, trim the shrubs, replace the carpet, or even clean before the real estate agent visits you. This is a free market analysis. It costs nothing and there are NO obligations. The agent can tell you what your house is worth, what you should/could do to make it more marketable (that’s when you’ll find out what needs to be done to get a better price and a faster sale) and how long the agent THINKS it would be on the market before it would sell. Now for the easy part – that’s all you have to do!

Although this is an easy step, many people will procrastinate, using the excuse that they don’t know who/which real estate agent to call. Don’t let this be the thing that stops you from taking this first step. If you really don’t know a real estate agent from your neighborhood/church (or don’t want them to know what you are doing), ask for a referral from the retirement community you might be considering. They will understand your unique situation, timeframes and concerns and match you with the real estate agent that best meets your needs. You are not signing anything or making any commitment at this point and therefore you don’t have to find the PERFECT agent. All you are doing is getting some information and gaining some knowledge.

After you have met with a realtor, you then have new, valuable information which you can think about and discuss with your spouse and/or family. Whenever you are ready, you can take another baby step, (which is not listing your house). Do you know what it is? Keep reading...

Baby Step 1 - Baby Step 2 - Baby Step 3 - Baby Step 4