When people move into a retirement community, they often use the equity from the sale of their homes to fund their entrance fee. And many times, the cost of living in a retirement home can provide savings over the monthly expenses of their home when you take into consideration insurance, transportation, home maintenance, repairs, utility bills, gym memberships and more.

We’ve been lucky that it’s been a hot housing market for the past several years. And there’s been a shortage of houses on the market, which has been good news for sellers. But what if the market shifts? Those who have been on the fence about selling their homes and making the move to a retirement community may want to consider being proactive about taking that next step.

According to a new study by Zillow, the influx of Baby Boomers will mean that more than a quarter of owner-occupied homes will go on the market in the coming decades, which could make it more difficult for you to sell your home for the price you want if you wait too long.

Naturally, these numbers will vary by community. For instance, in our corner of the world (the local area of Philadelphia-Reading-Campden, PA-NJ-DE-MD), 11.5 percent of owner-occupied homes will be released to the market by seniors (60+) by 2027, while by 2037, 26.2 percent of those homes will be on the market. In other areas, such as the popular retirement meccas of Florida and Arizona, the number of homes saturating the market will be even higher. For instance, in Tampa, Florida, 15.2 percent of homes will be released to the market by 2027 — and a whopping 33.2 percent by 2037.

All of this data suggests that it may be smart to sell your home sooner rather than later. Prospective sellers don’t need to panic yet, though: The real estate environment in Philadelphia is still very strong. According to one report, the Philadelphia market started 2019 very much as a seller’s market; however, the forces at work in this area are pushing for a gradual shift toward a buyer’s market.

If the market softens, it would also be a smart idea to work with a senior move manager, who can help you declutter your home of the possessions you’ve accumulated over the years and update your home’s interior and exterior. Houses with a fresh look and feel will always sell faster and for more money, in any market.

But the reasons to sell your home and move to a retirement community are more than just financial. The sooner you move, the sooner you can begin enjoying a carefree, stress-free lifestyle that trades endless mowing, shoveling and home repairs for fascinating new discoveries and pursuits. If you’re like most people, the minute you move into a community, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it years earlier. So, don’t wait any longer. Start thinking about your next steps, touring communities, freshening up your home and taking baby steps on a journey to living a life that is less about the things you have to do and more about the things you want to do.