You may have heard the phrase “Home is where the heart is” from your parents or even grandparents. It’s how they feel about the house they’ve lived in for the past 30 or 40 years. Your parents raised you in this house and created memories as a family. It’s been more than just a roof over their head and a backyard to care for, it’s home. Although as your parents age, you know the upkeep of their four-bedroom home with a big lawn may is becoming too much for them to handle.
You want them to downsize to something smaller, but you know they will be resistant to the idea. Your dad spent many years making the lawn spotless and mom doesn’t want to say goodbye to the house she raised her children in.
As you work on talking with your parents about selling their slightly outdated family home, there are a few ways to make their house more appealing to potential buyers.
Tips for Selling the Family Home
1. Create a Timeline
Work with your parents on creating a timeline of when they’d like to sell their home and where they will move next. Map out the details of contacting a realtor, finding the right community and how you will move your parents out of their home.
2. Hire a Specialized Real Estate Professional
Find a local real estate professional that is certified in Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) to help you sell your loved one’s home. They’re educated on how to best get your senior loved one’s home ready to sell and help with specific questions for people aged 50+.
3. Curb Appeal
Add some greenery or flowers to the yard, keep the grass cut and green. Having an upkept, nice looking yard is important for when potential buyers drive by. It’s their first impression of their potential future home.
4. Declutter Excess Things
Your parents have spent almost their entire life in their home. They most likely have a lot of extra “things” they no longer need. Work on decluttering one room at a time. It can seem like an overwhelming project, so invite family and friends over to help.
5. Repair Leaks, Holes or Minor Scuffs
Take the time to look for minor leaks in the sink, holes in tiny corners of the walls or scuff marks on the railing, floors or doors. Make the simple repairs before you list your parent’s home for sale.
6. Hire a Professional Photographer
After you’ve decluttered the house and cleaned up the yard, work with a professional photographer to take photos of your parent’s house. These photos will be used if your real estate agent lists your parent’s home for sale online. It can also be used for flyers or other marketing materials.
Tips for Helping a Parent Cope with Selling the Family Home
While selling the family home can be an emotional time, it can also be the close of one chapter and the opening of a new, exciting one. Help remind your parents that even though they won’t be living in their house anymore, they will still have the memories made there. They may be nervous about moving to a new environment, where they don’t know anyone. When moving to a new place will provide them with a safer environment and more time to enjoy activities they once loved doing. Here are a few ways to help make the emotional transition of selling the family home a little easier.
1. Pack Up Memorable Items and Values
Sort through memorable and valuable items with your parents and keep only what they can fit in their new home. For any remaining items, work with your siblings and other family members on what you want to take and keep from your parent’s home.
2. Be Patient
Moving is an emotional time. Your aging parents are leaving their life-long home and on to a new chapter of life. And for you, when you visit your parent’s it will no longer be at your childhood home. Have patience with your parents and yourself. Take time to listen to their concerns about moving, be supportive and patient.
Knowing your aging parents will be in a safer environment and no longer have to upkeep a large home and yard will give you a peace of mind. Closing the chapter of selling the family home gives your parent’s the chance to open a new one and thrive in their new environment.
If you want more information on moving your parents to assisted living, read our eBook “Making the Move to Assisted Living”.