Karen Scopetski - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage-Vice President, MA real estate single family


You got a reverse mortgage on your home to help with your retirement, but now, you want to move out. Maybe its because your kids want the house, or it just doesn't work for you anymore due to the climate or just how far away your family lives. Makes sense, when you were younger your life changed all the time, that doesn’t stop after retirement. So, are you stuck? Or can you sell it?

First, what is a Reverse Mortgage? 

A "reverse mortgage" is a special form of home financing that pays out based on the equity of your home. While you continue living in the home, the loan pays either a single lump sum, as a line of credit, monthly payments, or in some combination thereof to help cover the cost of your retirement. In the United States, the home must be the primary residence, and the homeowner must be over the age of 62 to qualify. While originally started to allow seniors to keep a more stable income, the IRS doesn't see it that way and instead looks at the income as a "loan advance" and taxes it accordingly.

Paying off Your Reverse Mortgage

Typically, the point of a reverse mortgage is for the income. That means you defer payment of the loan until you die, though it comes due when you sell the home or if you live elsewhere for a whole year. That means it usually falls to your heirs to handle it. They can pay it off, refinance it or sell the home. As a last resort, they can give up the property to the lender in place of repayment, but they give up all the rights of ownership to the property. Its possible to get a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) from the FHA restricted to the value of your home. This type of loan protects your heirs since the mortgage can't be more than the value of the house, which means all they have to do is hand over the property and they are free and clear.

Selling Your Home Under the Reverse Mortgage

Selling your reverse mortgaged home can be complicated. Your reverse mortgage compounds interest over its whole life on both the owed interested and the borrowed amount. That means the mortgage could be substantially higher than the original borrowed amount. If you want to sell the home, no matter if its family or open market, first start by figuring out just how much remains on the mortgage. Include the whole borrowed amount, owed interest, compounded interest and any fees your lender may charge. Double check that number by requesting a payoff amount from the lender. They will send you an estimated payoff amount based on your current status and will only apply for a specific date range. Keep in mind that regardless if you sell the home for the original amount, if it takes longer than you originally planned, those numbers could go up.

Want to know if your home is a good candidate for a reverse mortgage sale? Refer to your local real estate agent to find out if the market value of your home is high enough to make it a good idea.


After you receive an offer on your home, how should you respond? Ultimately, there are many questions for a home seller to consider before accepting a proposal, including:

1. What is my home worth?

Did you get your home appraised before you added it to the real estate market? If so, you may want to review a home offer in contrast to your home appraisal. This will give you a better idea about whether the offer is "fair" based on your home's condition.

If you have not received a home appraisal, there's no need to worry. In fact, there are many ways to assess your home to determine whether to accept or decline a proposal.

Check out the prices of comparable residences in your city or town. This will enable you to see how these houses are priced and better understand how to proceed with an offer.

Also, review the prices of homes that recently sold in your area. With this information, you can learn about the current state of the housing market.

2. Are there any other offers to consider?

As a home seller, you'll likely have 24 to 48 hours to respond to an offer on your residence. But if you receive multiple offers at the same time, you'll want to evaluate these proposals in conjunction with one another.

Even if you receive two offers for the exact same price, these proposals may differ.

For example, a homebuyer who has financing in hand will be able to streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. On the other hand, a homebuyer who submits an offer without financing in hand may require additional time to secure a mortgage from a bank or credit union.

Take a close look at all of the offers on your home. Review these proposals with a fine-tooth comb, and you'll be able to make an informed decision.

3. Does this offer meet or exceed my expectations?

An offer on your home may fall short of your initial asking price, but this offer can still meet or surpass your expectations.

Consider what you hope to accomplish as a home seller as you review an offer.

For instance, if your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible, you may be more inclined to accept one of the first offers you receive. Or, if you can afford to remain patient, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach to ensure you get an offer that matches or exceeds your initial asking price.

4. What will happen if I accept the offer?

After you accept an offer on your home, a homebuyer likely will want to complete a home inspection.

If the home inspection goes well, the homebuyer probably will proceed with his or her purchase. If it does not, you may need to complete home maintenance or repairs to finalize the purchase agreement.

Remember, if you accept an offer, there are still several steps that will need to be completed before you sell your house. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you'll know exactly what to expect at each stage of the home selling process.


Selling a home may be difficult, especially for those who plan to list a residence for the first time. Fortunately, many real estate agents are available to guide you along the home selling journey.

Although there is no shortage of real estate agents at your disposal, it is important to note that not all real estate professionals are created equal. Therefore, it is essential to allocate the necessary time and resources to find a real estate agent who can help you achieve your home selling goals.

What does it take to find the right real estate agent to help you sell your residence? Here are three tips to ensure you can do just that.

1. Review the Current Housing Market

Take a look at homes that are currently available and the real estate agents who are associated with these properties. That way, you can find out which real estate agents are available in your area.

Also, don't forget to assess recently sold homes in your city or town. This will allow you to learn about the real estate agents who sold various houses and how long it took these housing market professionals to finalize the property sales.

You can always search the web for real estate agents in your area too. By doing so, you may be able to view client reviews that can help you determine whether a particular real estate professional is the right choice.

2. Consult with Friends and Family Members

Friends and family members sometimes can provide insights into their past home selling experiences. As a result, they may be able to connect you with a real estate professional who will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you.

Furthermore, neighbors may prove to be great resources as you search for the perfect real estate agent. If a neighbor recently listed or sold his or her residence, you may be able to work with the same real estate agent.

3. Meet with Several Real Estate Agents

When it comes to finding a real estate agent, it never hurts to have a face-to-face conversation.

Set up meetings with several real estate professionals. This will allow you to learn about a real estate agent's background and expertise and decide whether you feel comfortable working with this individual.

In addition, try to get client references from real estate agents and reach out to past clients to find out what it was like to work with a particular real estate professional. As such, you'll be better equipped than ever before to make an informed decision.

The search for the right real estate agent often requires hard work and patience. With the right approach, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you accelerate the home selling journey and optimize the value of your residence.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble employing a top-notch real estate agent.


You likely aspire to sell your house as quickly as possible. However, you may not need to set a deadline for selling your residence to achieve your desired result. In fact, there are lots of things you can do to speed up the home selling journey, including:

1. Boost Your House's Curb Appeal

A home that boasts amazing curb appeal may draw buyers' attention as soon as it becomes available. Lucky for you, it may be easy to bolster your house's curb appeal in no time at all.

To improve your home's curb appeal, you may want to complete assorted home exterior upgrades. Mowing the grass and eliminating weeds, for example, could make your front lawn stand out to buyers. Or, if you have cracked or damaged home siding, you can always devote time and energy to repair it.

Of course, if you need help with home exterior enhancements, you can reach out to home improvement professionals. If you have home improvement pros at your side, you can accelerate the process of upgrading your house's curb appeal.

2. Establish a Competitive Initial Asking Price

The initial asking price of your home should account for the age and condition of your residence, along with the current state of the real estate market. That way, you can set a price for your home that falls in line with buyers' expectations.

Generally, it helps to conduct an appraisal before you list your residence. An appraisal report is based on a wide range of factors, including the prices of comparable homes in your city or town. Therefore, if you perform an appraisal, you could receive a property valuation that helps you determine how to price your home competitively.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

As a home seller, it never hurts to receive expert support as you navigate the property selling journey. Fortunately, real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals can offer great insights into what it takes to quickly sell a house.

A real estate agent first will learn about you and what you hope to accomplish. Next, a real estate agent will develop a plan designed to help you achieve your home selling goals. You and your real estate agent then will put this plan into action and adjust it as needed. Perhaps best of all, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can help you decide whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.

Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you bolster your home's curb appeal, establish the optimal initial asking price for your home and much more. And if you have any concerns during the house selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them right away.

For those who want to speed up the home selling journey, it helps to prepare. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can list your home, ensure it generates significant interest from buyers and move quickly to finalize a house sale.


Ready to transform your home's interior from bland to fabulous? Ultimately, how a seller approaches home interior improvement projects is important. If a seller does everything possible to upgrade a house's interior, this individual could reap the benefits of a successful property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you give your residence an interior makeover.

1. Analyze the Current Condition of Your Home

Although a home inspection generally is requested by a buyer after a seller accepts an offer to purchase a house, it may be helpful for a seller to complete an inspection before listing a residence. In fact, an inspection may enable a seller to analyze the current condition of his or her residence and prioritize home interior upgrades accordingly.

Many home inspectors are available in cities and towns across the United States. If you hire a top-notch home inspector, you can receive unprecedented insights into the condition of your house and map out your home interior improvement projects.

2. Remove Clutter

Let's face it – you've accumulated a vast array of personal items over the years. These items may have served you well, but they likely take up lots of space in your home. And if you're not careful, your personal items may make it difficult for you to show off the true size of your house to potential buyers.

If you have an abundance of clutter, there is no need to stress. You can always sell excess items online or at a yard sale, or you can donate these items to a local charity. Furthermore, if you have personal items you want to keep, you can rent a storage unit to hold these belongings until your residence sells.

3. Clean Each Room of Your Home

Maintaining a neat, tidy home is essential, particularly for an individual who wants to sell his or her residence as quickly as possible. If you perform regular cleaning tasks, you can keep your house looking great for the duration of the property selling journey.

Oftentimes, it helps to make a list of daily, weekly and monthly cleaning tasks. If you stick to a regular cleaning schedule, you can ensure each room of your home will dazzle at all times.

As you look for ways to upgrade your home's interior, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. This housing market professional is happy to provide home interior improvement recommendations and suggestions. Plus, he or she can put you in touch with the best local home interior improvement professionals.

In addition, a real estate agent provides extensive guidance throughout the house selling journey. He or she will help you list your home, promote it to the right groups of potential buyers and much more. And if you have home selling concerns, a real estate agent can address them right away.

Improve your home's interior – use the aforementioned tips, and you can bolster your house's interior before you add your residence to the real estate market.




Loading