Selling your home after the family have left the nest, or perhaps later in life, can sometimes feel like a gloomy exercise.
However, estate agent Strutt & Parker advises that it can instead be an exciting opportunity.
Your Old Rectory with five acres may have been the perfect family home, but is it really where you want to spend the rest of your life?
Many people now see downsizing as a chance to shake off the remaining mortgage and embrace the chance for a positive lifestyle change.
The most fulfilling way to downsize is to seize the opportunity, not wait until your house becomes a burden.
This way you will have the energy to throw yourself into a new community.
Sam Gibson, from the Morpeth office of Strutt & Parker, said: “Downsizing needn’t be depressing.
“The bravest among us don’t seek a smaller replacement of their former home, but something offering a new and inspiring way of life.
“Perhaps a modern barn conversion, or a town house with a small garden that can be locked up and left whilst you travel the world blowing the kids’ inheritance.”
Downsizers have often lived in the family home for 20 years or more, so the decision to move house should not be taken overnight.
Photos taken with the garden looking neat and tidy, and windows or outside paintwork overhauled will make your house look its very best, and that will attract more viewings.
The most successful sales often come on the back of two or three years of preparation with the agent offering advice from the outset.
It is also important to remember that buyers’ wishes have changed.
Large family kitchens are now more popular than formal dining rooms and busy roads have become a bigger issue than they did when you bought your house 20 or more years ago.
There is a lot more traffic out there now and price has to be adjusted accordingly.
De-cluttering is also key as most of us have more possessions than our houses were designed to hold.
Putting possessions into storage, giving away anything you don’t really need and rearranging furniture will make the rooms feel bigger.
Sam said: “The most important message is not to be afraid of change.
“Some of our happiest buyers have been downsizers who have bought a completely different property – whether it is an apartment with all the mod cons or a house in the heart of the village, it is a chance to try something new.”