How to Find Downsizing Property Owners

How to Find Downsizing Property Owners

Learn how to find downsizing property owners using tools like NeighborWho.

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Downsizing a property refers to the process whereby homeowners opt to move to a smaller, more manageable living space, usually at a stage in life when their current housing exceeds their needs or desires. This often occurs when children have grown up and left the family home, leaving their parents with more space than necessary. 

Downsizing can represent a shift from a larger family house to a smaller home, condo, or townhouse, driven not only by the quest for less square footage but also by the desire for simpler upkeep. By downsizing, homeowners save on living expenses and utility bills and opt for a home layout that better serves their current requirements, for fewer bedrooms, or a single-story design for easier mobility.

Understanding downsizing property owners

These individuals are likely to have substantial property equity or have paid off their mortgage, which can lead to a more straightforward sales process and the potential for them to purchase their next property outright. Furthermore, as they may not have current ties to a real estate professional, there is a prime opportunity for agents to establish new client relationships, and assist in navigating this significant life transition.

Who are downsizers?

Downsizers are individuals or couples, often part of the senior or empty-nester demographic, who make the decision to transition from a larger residence to one that better suits their current needs. They may have raised families in sizeable homes with excess space that is no longer necessary or desire to lower the requirements and costs of home maintenance. 

These homeowners are usually looking for properties with less square footage or those that offer a more manageable lifestyle, such as single-story layouts, townhouses, or condos with amenities that reduce upkeep responsibilities.

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How many downsizer leads are there in the US?

The United States is home to a significant population of downsizer leads. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, of the 6.5 million homes sold yearly, approximately 750,000 are from the senior community. This number is projected to double over the next few years to exceed 1.8 million homes sold from this group of downsizers ([The Share Group].

Reasons for downsizing

The reasons for downsizing are multifaceted and often personal. According to the National Association of Realtors, many seniors downsize in response to life-changing events such as retirement, divorce, or the loss of a loved one, with 67% moving due to health changes in the household. The desire for a more manageable property, one without the need for climbing stairs or extensive yard work, motivates others. 

Financial motivations are also prevalent, with the selling of a larger home potentially freeing up equity to enhance their lifestyle, cover day-to-day living expenses, or follow dreams like traveling. Reduced maintenance, minimized clutter, and closer proximity to family, healthcare, and amenities are additional factors contributing to the decision to downsize. Millennials and Gen Xers often downsize to seek affordable homes that represent freedom and reduced environmental impact.

Finding downsizing property owners

The importance of identifying downsizing owners cannot be overstated for real estate professionals. This demographic of homeowners represents a unique and expanding market segment. Statistics reveal that, out of the 6.5 million homes sold annually, about 750,000 are from senior community members — a number projected to double in the near future. 

Downsizing homeowner listing leads

Identifying downsizing homeowner listing leads presents an opportunity for real estate agents to connect with a market segment that holds significant potential. With over 39 percent of homebuyers older than 55 in recent years, agents who cater to the needs of downsizers can tap into a rich vein of leads. 

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Property Search

Owner Search

To find proprietors in the downsizing process, agents can utilize specialized databases like NeighborWho and leverage technology to track the click patterns and demographics of site visitors, indicating their real-time interest levels in selling and buying properties.

Downsizing seniors / empty nesters

The senior demographic is particularly instrumental in the real estate downsizing trend. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 750,000 homes from senior community sales occur annually, and this number is expected to double over the next few years to over 1.8 million homes (The Share Group). Many of these downsizers are empty nesters who find themselves in homes that no longer suit their needs. 

They may seek smaller, more manageable living spaces that better fit their current lifestyle, often requiring properties without stairs and with proximity to healthcare services and social support (Dotloop). Real estate professionals can focus on this group by addressing their unique concerns, such as maintenance-free lifestyles and the emotional aspects of letting go of family homes.

Targeting downsizers to find new clients

Successfully engaging with potential clients who are considering downsizing involves a nuanced approach that appreciates the emotional and practical aspects of this life transition. This includes understanding the motivations behind a downsizer’s decision to sell. Agents can implement targeted Facebook ads and organize downsizing seminars to connect with this audience. 

Moreover, by earning credentials such as the Certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation, agents can further position themselves as authorities on the unique needs of senior downsizers, providing expertise in retirement relocations and aging in place. Cultivating a professional network that can assist with financial, legal, and moving services can be invaluable to clients during their downsizing journey.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.