5 Tips for Helping an Elderly Relative Sell Their House
Test. The process of helping an elderly relative sell their house is usually not an easy one. Older adults often have emotional hurdles when leaving homes that contain so many cherished memories. According to the Senior Advantage Real Estate Council, nearly 40 percent of property owners over 65 haven’t changed their address in more than 30 years. That’s a long time for most people, and the prospect of changing locations, routines and habits can be a daunting one.
Then, there are physical limitations. Aging relatives are not likely to be able to move all those boxes and heavy furniture. This reality means that either you will need to call a moving company, or you will be the one doing the moving.
Unfortunately, sometimes the cost of your relative continuing to live in their cherished home is incredibly steep. Helping an elderly relative move into safer living accommodations is one of the greatest acts of love you can give. If you are trying to help an elderly relative sell their house, here are five tips to make sure the process goes smoothly.
Be Factual, But Sympathetic
Your elderly relative likely does not want to move. It may be hard for them to move if they have lived in the same home for decades. They may realize that they need to move due to physical limitations, or you may be encouraging them to move to prevent issues in the future.
Therefore, the best way you can help them sell their property is to be factual but also sympathetic. When discussing the idea of moving, the logistics of it, and even post-move, lend a listening ear. Also, reiterate that it is truly the best decision for them at this stage of their life.
Help Fix Up the House
Living in a property for 30 years often means that the styles inside the home will be outdated. It’s not uncommon to find wood paneling and other antiquated styles inside a house that’s been occupied for years. When helping a relative sell their home, it is usually a good idea to fix it up before putting it on the market.
If many homes on the market in your area are in pristine, immaculate condition, a property that needs a lot of work won’t sell as quickly. Familiarize yourself with current style trends and try to convince your aging relative that fixing it up before putting it on the market is the right thing to do.
Note that this does not necessarily mean an entire house makeover. Fresh coats of paint, for example, are inexpensive and can do wonders for a home’s sale price. Also, upgrading appliances and the electrical panel can provide some extra functional oomph for selling the property.
If worst comes to worst and you and your relatives don’t have the funds to fix the place up, you can sell the place as-is. Often times this might be an agreeable solution because older folks tend to have lots of equity tied up in their homes. Contact a local real estate investment company to see how much they would pay for the property without making repairs. Beachworks is one such company in the Seattle area. Request an offer here.
Discuss Everything with A Real Estate Professional
Along the same lines as fixing up the house, make sure that you meet with a real estate professional to discuss the home sale. They can perform an analysis of doing high ROI repairs that will make the home easier to sell.
Furthermore, a real estate professional can also give you an accurate estimate of what they think the property would sell for both with and without repairs. They can help guide you through the entire process and put your relative’s mind at ease with the sale. Beachworks is skilled in working with elderly homeowners, estate properties and multiple decision makers. Contact us if you would like a consultation.
It can sometimes be quite helpful to have a third party that comes in to discuss the pros of moving. It is reassuring to have a professional come in and suggest properties that will improve the overall quality of life. For example, an agent may show wheelchair-accessible houses or condos to an elderly relative with mobility issues.
Ensure the Sale of The Home Makes Full Sense Financially
This point is especially important if your relative is looking to use the proceeds of the sale to move to an assisted-living facility. Often, the desire to sell the property comes after a significant life event such as an unexpected fall or health issue. In a panic, the relative sells their home and moves into an assisted facility. Only after moving in do they realize that the proceeds of the sale won’t be enough to cover their expected duration in the place.
Imagine, for example, that you took the extra couple of months, performed repairs and netted an additional $200k off the sale. That extra $200k might go a very long way towards paying for assisted-living costs. Focus on the broader goals for your elderly relative when selling their home and not just the immediate need.
Devise A Strategy
Even the best plans still have deviations, but being able to discuss the sale with your relative in detail will make the process so much easier. Discuss everything in great detail, even if it’s a tough topic. You should go over as many options as you can to help them find the best living arrangements. Whether that’s moving down south for warmer weather or moving into an assisted-living facility, you want a living situation that will make them happy.
Of course, you also want something that works for you as well. Helping a relative sell their house is mostly about understanding the end goal for all people involved. Unfortunately, many people make hasty decisions that wind up being very expensive to correct in the future.
Helping An Elderly Relative Sell Their House Isn’t Always Easy
To help an elderly relative sell their house, you must make sure that you have a plan. Ensure that you have consulted with a real estate professional and that you are willing to make repairs to the property or look into selling it as-is. Further, ensure that you are sympathetic to your relative’s needs and that you are keeping an eye on the bigger financial picture. It can be tempting to make quick decisions based on a recent life event that doesn’t advance your relative’s monetary goals. Helping a relative sell their home requires patience and love. Take the time to come up with a plan that works for everyone.