Selling a Senior’s Home: What You Need to Know

With life expectancy on the rise, most Americans will need some type of long-term care when they grow old. While there are several options to choose from, most of the time, assisted living is the most practical and cost-effective choice for your older adult. Moving to an assisted living community usually means that the senior has to sell his or her home to cover the cost of care. Let’s have a look at some important things you need to know when helping your loved one to list their house for sale.

Choose a Real Estate Agent With the Right Experience

If you think that selling a senior’s home is just like selling any other property, you’re wrong. Not only is selling a home full of decades of memories is never easy but some specific procedures need to be taken into account. That’s why you really should try to find a real estate agent who has experience helping seniors sell their homes when they decide to move to a senior living community.

List the House for Sale in Advance

Selling a property always takes time but selling a senior’s home usually requires at least 8-10 weeks more because everything needs to be ready for the older adult’s relocation. This timeframe allows the family and the senior to comfortably downsize, do some space planning for the new home, find movers, pack, and settle in the new apartment.

First Impressions Matter

When selling a home, first impressions are what make or kill the sale. Most potential buyers are likely to skip a property that looks like an old person’s home or buy at a seriously reduced price simply because the house doesn’t look spick and span in the pictures. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to make the property look more attractive to buyers.

For most houses, increasing curb appeal does the trick. Invest your time in mowing the lawn, power-washing the house from the outside, and decluttering and depersonalizing the interior. You should avoid taking pictures of old furniture (unless you’re photographing character pieces), use natural light, and photograph the property on a sunny day using high quality camera settings.

Financial Implications

For most older adults, assisted living works out as the most affordable care option. The cost of maintaining a house and paying for in-home care can become extremely high in time and it’s difficult to project the expenses for years to come. Assisted living fee structure is a lot more transparent and predictable in the long term than in-home care and nursing services. This makes it easier for the family to budget and know what to expect. In addition to that, your loved one may be eligible for financing like VA benefits that can cover assisted living costs in part or in full.

What you need to take into account is that the sale of your older adult’s property may result in some expenses. You’ll need to pay off the remaining mortgage and taxes, and the sale may affect eligibility for benefits that can be used to pay for assisted living. If you’re unsure of how the sale will affect your loved one’s finances, consult a trusted financial advisor to make an informed decision.

Downsizing Is Never Easy

Downsizing is always stressful for the senior because of all the memories associated with pieces of furniture and other possessions that can’t be kept. You can help your loved one to make these difficult choices and then decorate the new home so that it resembles the old one.

Manage the Stress

Moving house always involves some stress, even when you’re young and full of energy. It’s particularly challenging for older adults, though, because they have to say good-bye to a home they love and move to a place very different from what they’re used to. As a senior’s caregiver, you’ll need to do your best to help your mom or dad handle the stress. Be patient, don’t pressure your loved one and help to go through possessions and decide what can be kept and what has to go.

Selling a home full of lifetime memories and moving to a senior living community can be tough and stressful. A real estate agent who specializes in helping seniors sell their homes will make the process faster, easier, and less traumatic for the senior and the family.