What to Consider Before Selling Your Parent’s House

What to Consider Before Selling Your Parent’s House

It’s time for Mom or Dad to transition to a senior living community. Perhaps they need some support with daily tasks, or their overall health could use a boost from the social aspects of community life. Or maybe your parent’s dementia has reached the point where professional care is best for their safety. Whatever the reason, selling their home has become the next big task on your to-do list.

Sometimes, this enormous task becomes an act of hasty desperation if a loved one experiences a sudden illness or injury that makes full-time care an immediate necessary. According to Polly West, Executive Director at Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods, an assisted senior care and memory care community in Nicholasville, KY, “Many families don’t have the luxury of time when it comes to selling a parent’s home. That’s why we suggest having discussions about long-term care well in advance with older loved ones. Planning ahead for assisted senior care is the best way to ensure the smoothest transition for everyone.”

If you’re lucky, you and your parent will have had the time to discuss their transition from being a home-owner to enjoying the freedom of a community lifestyle. Even so, there’s much to consider before putting your parent’s house on the market as they prepare to move to a senior living community.

Preparing to Sell – Discussions to Have & Decisions to Make

Whether or not you’ve had experience with the housing market, a few unique elements come into play when preparing to sell the home of an aging parent. For example, your loved one’s health needs may put a lot of pressure on how quickly the house needs to sell, and therefore what price you’re willing to accept. Other considerations include the following:

  • Figuring Out the Financials – The first step in selling any home is determining the worth of the house. A bit of research about the current market, as well as a Realtor’s assessment, can help you with this part. You and your parent should have a discussion about setting a realistic price, and agree on the minimum price you’d be willing to accept. If your mom or dad is planning to use the funds from the sale to pay for their assisted senior care, that may help you decide on the number you’re not willing to drop below.
  • Staging to Sell – Before you put your parent’s house on the market, you’ll want to make sure it’s ready to be shown. Consider doing any minor repairs and updates you can handle (major repairs, such as a new roof, may factor into negotiations with the buyer) so that leaky faucet in the bathroom or the outdated wallpaper in the bedroom doesn’t turn away potential buyers.

You will also want to stage the home in a way that will attract buyers. Most Realtors advise that buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in the house, so make sure to plan enough time to declutter and deep-clean the house before it’s shown. According to Trulia.com, an online real estate company, a clean house can gain up to $10,000 more on a home sale simply by giving the buyer a great first impression. 

If staging your parent’s home sounds like a daunting task, help is available. Many companies offer packing, moving and staging services that can speed up the process and lessen the load on you and your loved one. 

  • Managing the Market – You will also want to consider the best way to go about putting your parent’s house on the market. Will you bring in a professional real estate agent to help, or avoid the extra fees by selling the home on your own? Both avenues will require different kinds of preparation. 

Another consideration to make is whether your parent can afford to move into an assisted senior care community before the house sells. If they can, it could make it easier for you to stage, show and sell the home faster with potentially better offers. While it’s proper etiquette to leave the house while an agent is showing it, this isn’t always possible with seniors. Buyers may not feel comfortable viewing a house and asking questions with the current owner hovering nearby. And, depending on the circumstances influencing the move, this process could be very difficult for your parent. Watching strangers come into their home and look through their belongings can be distressing, to say the least.

  • If your parent is living with the symptoms of mid- to late-stage dementia, you may have legal considerations to make in order to sell their home. In order to put their house on the market (or interfere with any of their assets), you must legally be your parent’s power of attorney or guardian, proving that you have the right to make such decisions if your parent is mentally incapacitated. Even then, title companies may demand further proof if your name is not on the deed to your parent’s house. In this case, it’s wise to request the guidance of an elder law attorney.

Of course, even with a perfect scenario of health and resources, selling a home rarely goes exactly as planned. These considerations will help you prepare for what’s ahead as you help your loved one move into assisted senior care, but be ready to adapt your plan of action according to your parent’s needs.

Easing the Transition to Senior Living 

At Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods, we try to make the transition from home to community as smooth as possible for our new residents. “While each family’s situation varies,” says West, “we understand that seniors moving out of their beloved homes need the same thing – support. Our individualized services and homelike lifestyles allow us to help new residents continue familiar routines and favorite hobbies and habit while they grow accustomed to community life.”

Experts at our community also have great advice for families helping their parents move. If you could use some guidance on preparing your loved one for a move and their home for a sale, don’t hesitate to contact us for advice and connections to more great resources.

Live Life to the Fullest at Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods

Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods is a Christian Care Community offering assisted senior care, memory care and adult day services. Located in Brannon Crossing, one of central Kentucky’s most desirable areas, Bridgepointe was designed to help families grow closer as they grow older.

At Bridgepointe, residents enjoy the privacy and dignity of living in their own apartment as well as the peace of mind that comes from the support and assistance of a special team of caregivers. In short, we help our residents live life to its fullest.

Our community is designed to promote activity, interaction, socialization and enjoyment. We offer a variety of engaging activities daily, from yoga and tai chi to gardening and arts and crafts. At Bridgepointe, there’s never a dull moment and always something to do!

Discover a rich and fulfilling lifestyle combined with personalized care and support delivered by a team of experienced professionals … all within a secure, elegantly appointed community. 

We invite you to visit today and discover how Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods can change your life for the better!

To learn more, contact us today!