When You Retire Should You Sell Your House?
Senior couple drinking wine


When You Retire Should You Sell Your House?

No matter who you are, retirement is a major life adjustment. As you approach retirement age, you must ask yourself critical questions about how you want to spend your golden years. 

One such question is whether your current home will serve your needs. Specifically, when you retire, should you sell your house? With quality-of-life considerations and financial realities to take into account—not to mention, emotional factors—there’s plenty to consider. 

Should I Sell My House and Rent After Retirement?

Anyone wondering, “Should I sell my house when I retire?†should know that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. 

For some people, selling is an excellent way for retirees to downsize costs and space. Others find it the most practical way of adopting a new lifestyle, like condo living or traveling. However, renting can be problematic for some people, and it’s not always the most cost-effective answer. 

So, should you consider selling your house before retirement? Let’s take a look at the benefits of selling vs. remaining in your home. 

Benefits of Selling Your Home in Retirement

Here are some of the most common reasons people sell their homes as they age. 


Large single-family homes take a lot of time and energy to clean, heat/cool, and maintain–especially if you have a yard. If you have more space than you need, downsizing can make cleaning and maintenance much easier. It can also free up time for more enjoyable activities. 

Generating Funds

If you own outright or have lots of equity, selling your house can pad your retirement fund nicely. Timing the sale to coincide with a healthy housing market can also bring in more money than you anticipated. 

Eliminating Maintenance Costs

The bigger the home, the more maintenance costs you will have, especially regarding property taxes. If you downsize or rent, you can cut down or eliminate these costs altogether. 

Tax Breaks

There may be some tax advantages if you decide to sell your home. A tax consultant can help you figure out if any tax breaks would apply to you. 

Buying a Home That’s Better Suited to Your Needs

Perhaps you want to live in a different area, or maybe a two-story home is less than ideal for managing age-related mobility issues. Perhaps you no longer need to live in an expensive part of town to be close to work and instead want to live closer to your children and grandchildren. 

Whatever the reason, selling your home can help you find one that matches your needs. You can search for options that prioritize your changing requirements, especially regarding size, features, and location. 

Benefits of Remaining in Your Home in Retirement

In retirement should I sell my house–or not? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons to stay put. 


Many people enjoy the sense of community in their neighborhood, which they’ve developed over many years and can take a long time to recreate somewhere else. You have probably already established relationships with businesses and doctors that you may not want to change. 


As you age, it’s likely you’ll require more support from family members. If your family lives nearby, it may not be worth it to move somewhere else. 


Passing your house on to a child or grandchild is one reason many people stay in their homes. If you want to go this route, it’s vital to speak with a tax professional regarding capital gains tax implications for whoever would inherit your home. 


When you ask yourself, “Should I sell paid off house and rent when retired?†it’s vital to crunch the numbers. Sometimes renting is cheaper, but it may not be. Everything depends on how much equity you have or whether you’re close to owning the house outright. 

You should also look at the housing market. If your house is appreciating in value, hanging on to it for a while longer to maximize profits may make the most sense. 

You’ve Already Made Modifications

If you’ve already gone to the trouble of renovating your house, or if you’ve made modifications to make your home more accessible for older adults, it may be more difficult to want to sell it. Keep in mind that you can continue to renovate as your needs evolve. 

Mental Health Benefits

It would be foolish to discount the mental health benefits of remaining in your home. Perhaps you’ve raised your children in the house, in which case you likely have many good memories and feel secure there. As long as you have the financial resources to stay, this is a perfectly acceptable reason to do so. 

How to Sell Your House in Retirement

Are you considering the selling of house when retired and on social security? If so, keep the following tips in mind. 

  • Timing is everything. Timing the sale to maximize profits can significantly impact what you get from the sale of your house. Speak with a realtor who can help you determine if it’s best to wait to sell. 
  • Calculate equity. Plenty of people need the equity from their home to invest in something else (like another home or another investment for retirement). If so, you should calculate potential earnings before listing your home. A real estate agent can help you determine how much equity is in your property. 
  • Research costs. Remember that there are many costs associated with selling and buying a new home. Real estate fees, closing costs, and repairs/presale prep work all add up.  
  • Firm up your retirement goals. Before selling, it’s best to have a clear idea of what you want retirement to look like, both financially and lifestyle-wise. How much money do you wish to save each month with the sale? Is your retirement lifestyle feasible? It’s critical to answer these questions before taking the plunge. 

Retirement is an exciting moment filled with possibilities, and selling can help you take advantage of this new chapter. If you’re considering selling your home when you retire, a trusted realtor like Emery Lane can help you take the next steps. 

If you want to sell your Arizona home, we will be more than happy to figure out the best solution. Our team of real estate experts know that you want market value for your home. We have experience in helping those in every scenario, upsizing, downsizing, probate, marriage, divorce, foreclosures, growing family, etc. 

We understand both the good & bad for wanting to sell your property. Whether you need a speedy 10 day close or a long 3 month post-possession, we will gladly try our best to accommodate your best interests to make sure this is easy & smooth for you!