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The choice to downsize your home as you get older can be challenging. But the truth is that it can also be an exciting time, especially if your house now feels like an empty nest and maintenance has become a nightmare for your bad back.

Ranked as one of the best cities in the United States to retire, Boston is the perfect place to start a new chapter in your life. While bittersweet, selling your large property is perhaps one of the wisest (and biggest) decisions you’ll ever make. An experienced real estate agent can help make the process far more seamless by offering the right advice and strategy to help you get the best sales price possible when you downsize in a competitive Boston property market.

I’ve put together some downsizing tips to help with your planning while minimizing stress.

·  Assess whether your current living situation works for you. The decision to downsize may take a lot of consideration because you’re so used to your home. Downsizing can actually make your life much easier because it helps you retain your quality of life without the stress of maintaining a large property. Consider your space, health, mobility and lifestyle needs without the burden of massive property maintenance to help you make the right choice. Sometimes it can be hard to be objective on your own, so you may want to seek professional advice to assess your current living situation better and help you make the right decision for you.

·  Think about how to sell your home. The median value of a home in Boston is around $554,600, and it’s crucial to prepare it for a maximum return. Showcase the best property features through professional photography to entice genuine buyers to walk through the door, and consider cosmetic changes like painting, repairs and yard maintenance to help push up the selling price. A house that is visually appealing is far more likely to fetch a better price than one without as much aesthetic prowess. The more you're able to command for your property, the more you'll have to fund your retirement no matter where you choose to live after downsizing.

·  Some seniors make the mistake of getting friends and family to offer advice on a selling price. But when you're looking to redirect earnings from the house sale toward a comfortable retirement lifestyle in your new home, you'll want to make sure the property valuation is accurate. Make sure you get a professional property valuation so you arrive at an asking price based on current market conditions in your neighborhood.

·  Consider your next property. There are still plenty of choices for you to make in your retirement years. You need to consider everything from location and size to lifestyle and maintenance. Your real estate agent is in the unique position to offer you property advice and to help you buy or rent your next home after downsizing. Depending on your particular situation, you could move into a retirement community, an apartment, a condo or a smaller single-family home. Some retirees prefer to live in independent or assisted living facilities based on health and lifestyle needs. Determining your needs and abilities will go a long way toward narrowing down the many choices you face.

Retiring from work and downsizing your home doesn't mean it's the end. In fact, for many, it's just the start of a brilliant new chapter. Make it worthwhile by making the right decisions for your circumstances, and enjoy your new life.