Anyone who wants to retire their own home without having to move out has three options: partial sale, complete sale or loan. As Finanztest has now determined, two of these options are significantly better than the third. It’s also worth looking at the details.

Seniors can top up their pension by lending or selling their property and agreeing to live in it for life. Anyone who observes simple principles will get significantly more money and better services without any disadvantages.

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Even if the partial sale currently dominates the market, Finanztest generally advises against it. In a partial sale, real estate owners sell part of their house or apartment for an immediate payment.

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Finanztest names plenty of reasons against this “partial sale” option:

Finanztest concludes that the partial sale corresponds to a loan in which the seller bears the risk of performance. Complete sale or credit usually offer better alternatives.

Anyone who sells their property completely, but wants to continue living there for free, can agree on a right of residence or a so-called usufruct:

If you no longer want to use your property after you move out, you can save money with a right of residence. Those who want to keep the back door open for rental or family use resort to usufruct.

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In principle, sellers should not have too high expectations of the possible prices: According to the Finanztest research, anyone who wants to continue living in the property sold only receives around 40 to 50 percent of the sales price without usufruct and right of residence.

More on the subject: life annuity, usufruct, partial sale – more annuity by selling the property: You have to watch out for these pitfalls

Anyone who sells a house or apartment can have an annuity paid out instead of an immediate one-off payment. Lifelong pensions have become rare, but according to the financial test, they are only worthwhile if the recipients are significantly older than average life expectancy.

According to the financial test, temporary annuities result in fair offers that correspond to an immediate payment including savings interest in the final amount.

Anyone who wants to turn their own property into money without selling it takes out a loan on it. If the borrower dies, the heirs can pay the amount and move into, rent out or sell the property. Loans are therefore particularly suitable for seniors who want to keep a property in their family after their death.

You have three options:

Most banks offer all three options only up to half of the property value.

Finanztest sent out test persons who obtained offers for their properties. In most cases, they did not receive any model contracts for a preliminary check, despite requests. The completed contracts only came 14 days before the notary appointment, but according to the financial test they then included up to 42 pages of legal regulations. Hardly understandable for normal customers, says the financial test and advises to always have the contracts checked by specialist lawyers.