Making the decision to move to a senior living community is often put off longer than necessary. Seniors may want the amenities of living in a community, but they're often reluctant to part with their home and other material possessions. If your loved one has chosen to move, this means selling his or her house. You can help with these tips:
Work with a real estate agent
These days you don't see a lot of "for sale by owner" signs. The process of selling a house takes many steps and a lot of paperwork, and going it alone can be highly stressful. Support your senior loved one by helping him or her find a real estate agent. Look for someone who has his or her real estate license and is very familiar with the area where the senior's home is located. This means the agent will know all about surrounding schools, parks and other amenities to mention to potential buyers.
Ready the home
Next, talk with the agent about how to get the senior's home ready for sale. This may include minor repairs like fixing electric sockets that don't work or more serious tasks like redoing the roof or putting in new windows. Make sure the senior has a budget in mind for any improvements or fixes. You can always try to sell the house as it is and then make adjustments as necessary if it does not sell.
"Simple cosmetic changes can really improve a home."
Simple cosmetic changes such as a fresh coat of exterior paint or having a cleaning company come in and do a full-house sweep can really improve a home. The final part of readying the space is staging. This means arranging the furniture, putting away personal items like family photos and overall adjusting everything to be a blank slate. This allows potential buyers to envision their things and family in the home instead of just looking at someone else's stuff.
Get the word out
The senior's real estate agent will then begin marketing the home. A listing will appear on several websites to make it as visible as possible. The agent may post about the home on social media or even host an open house. This is a perfect chance for people who are looking to buy to check out the home without the pressure of a one-on-one appointment. Some homes sell the day of an open house while others take weeks or months.
Make the move
If it is financially feasible for your loved one to move into senior living while his or her house is on the market, this may be a wise choice. Having to leave the home with little notice due to a showing can be stressful for a senior as they have to be constantly clean and tidy. If it's not possible to move the individual into his or her new unit while the house is on the market, consider offering the person a place to go during showings and signing him or her up for weekly house cleanings to promote a sale-worthy home that is low-stress for the senior.