What to Consider When Selling Your Elderly Parent’s Home

Apr 7, 2022

Selling your elderly parent’s home might seem straightforward. However, the situation is often far more complex than people realize. It’s easy to underestimate the challenges you and your parent will face along the way. Additionally, while one solution for future living arrangements might seem reasonable on the surface, the reality could be far different.

That’s why it’s critical to take a few things into consideration before selling your parent’s house. If you’re unsure where to begin, here are some points to consider.

picture of elderly couple

What to Consider Before Selling Your Elderly Parent’s Home

The Pitfalls of Moving Too Fast

While it may seem like there aren’t many drawbacks to selling your parent’s home in a hot market, that isn’t always the case. Desirable, competitively priced properties are getting offers fast. Since that’s the case, you may find the property under contract in the blink of an eye.

Having a pending sale happen in a matter of days is usually positive. However, it means there isn’t any room to delay moving elderly parents out of their home or changing your mind about the sale.

For example, you may have to rush to downsize, leading to a hasty decision. If you’re planning on taking care of elderly parents in your home, only discovering that isn’t a reasonable undertaking until they move in, you can’t back out of the sale without stiff financial penalties. Since that’s the case, you might end up rushing to try and find somewhere else for them to live. With today’s tight market, that can be easier said than done.

Ultimately, you don’t want to list your elderly parent’s home until you’re sure it’s the best idea. Additionally, you want a precise plan for what comes next, ensuring the transition can be as seamless and stress-free as possible.

Choosing a Housing Option

Elderly Parents Moving In

senior with son and grandkids

Moving elderly parents into your home may seem like the logical choice, particularly if your parents could benefit from some extra support. However, caring for elderly parents at home isn’t always easy. Your house may not meet their physical needs or offer enough privacy. That means, without renovations, your home may not be a great fit.

Depending on their medical, physical, emotional, and mental needs, elderly parents moving in may be a far bigger task than you expect. This is especially true if the transition means moving an elderly parent to another state. In that case, they’re likely leaving friends behind and heading to an area where the only person they know is you. That makes managing their social needs challenging, potentially creating an extra hardship.

Plus, financial changes come with moving elderly parents into your home. Food consumption and utility usage often change immediately. You could also see your property insurance rates rise or may need to handle some of their medical care-related financial needs.

In many cases, it’s best to do a trial run before committing to either the sale of their home or an overhaul of your property. That way, you can determine if you’re able to handle any financial and care requirements before you list their home.

If the trial run shows that it’s a solid fit, you can then make plans to update the space as necessary. Whether it’s a simple remodel to make critical areas accessible, converting a garage into a living space, or adding an ADU, you’ll know that the investment is worth making.

Downsizing to a Smaller Property

downsizing your home

In some situations, elderly parents are still reasonably independent. If they want to stay nearby but could benefit from less home maintenance and cleaning responsibilities, heading to a smaller house or apartment could be a solid fit.

If that’s the case, you’ll want to explore options in the area before listing their house. That way, you know what features and amenities they can find, as well as how much square footage and the number of rooms they’ll have. That will make helping your elderly parents downsize easier.

You’ll have a general idea of how much they need to pare down and can get the process started without the looming pressure of an upcoming move and sale. Cleaning out an elderly parent’s house can be challenging, particularly if they have a lot of happy memories associated with the space and their belongings. That’s why you don’t want to wait until a sale is pending to start.

Moving to Assisted Living or Nursing Homes

senior care home

If your parents have medical, physical, or social needs beyond what you can shoulder, moving your parents to assisted living or nursing homes may be your better choice. Again, this is something you want to determine well before you list the house.

Figuring out how to get an elderly person into a care home is difficult, especially if there is a shortage of assisted living or nursing homes in the target area. In some cases, moving a parent to assisted living or a nursing home means finding a facility and getting on a waitlist, effectively putting a move on hold until a space becomes available.

Since you may not know how long that will take, you don’t want to list their house. Otherwise, it may sell before they have a place to go, which isn’t ideal.

Preparing for the Transition

moving an elderly parent

Whether you’ll have elderly parents moving in with you, are moving them into a care home, or are helping them transition to a smaller place, you’ll need to prepare for the change. In nearly all cases, downsizing is part of the equation.

Cleaning out elderly parents’ homes and determining what they’ll take with them to the next property is challenging. For many people, it’s hard to say goodbye to their stuff or a house they’ve loved, particularly if the downsizing needs to be dramatic. It’s an emotional process. Since that’s the case, it can take far more time and energy than you’d expect.

If your elderly parents are living with you, you may need to update your house beforehand. Creating a private space for them, updating your home for accessibility, and similar tasks might all be on the table. Since extensive renovations can take months under the best of circumstances, you’ll want to get that ball rolling well before listing the house.

Further, simply planning for moving day is a major undertaking, particularly if they’re keeping many of their belongings or are relocating to another state. Transportation arrangements alone can be expensive. If you also need packing and unpacking services, it can add up quickly.

Plus, you’ll need to reach out well before you intend to move to secure your preferred date. Since reputable companies often book up in advance, you may have to wait longer than you’d expect for a moving date.

Adapting to the new home is also going to take time. If you’ll be caring for your elderly parents at home, your lifestyle is also about to change. In the end, it’s essential to acknowledge and prepare for that well before the house sells, ensuring everyone has a chance to adjust and, if the chosen arrangement isn’t a great fit, there’s time to pursue another option if the need arises.

Laying Additional Groundwork

doing research online

In many cases, you’ll need to make sure you have certain critical documents in place before you list. What’s required could depend on a few factors. However, you may need to secure a suitable power of attorney if you’re overseeing the sale for your elderly parent. Additionally, you may need to become an authorized signer on your parent’s bank account and get permission to coordinate with their mortgage lender if there’s still a mortgage. 

Without the right documentation in place, you may not have the right to sell your elderly parent’s home for them. Since that’s the case, it’s best to handle this well before you plan to list.

How to Sell Your Elderly Parent’s Home Efficiently

Selling a home quickly in the current market may seem simple. In some cases, homes in desirable areas in great condition get offers within days – if not hours – of hitting the market. However, if you want to ensure you get top-dollar and unprecedented support, you need to turn to a real estate company you can trust.

At Global Property Systems, you get more than a highly-trained real estate professional by your side; you get assistance from a full team. We have a dedicated team of Senior Real Estate Specialists (SRES) available to help them make the decisions they feel comfortable with by removing many of the obstacles they may have in mind.  We’ll market your property not just to get a fast offer but to ensure you get the best deal available in the shortest possible timeframe. Plus, we’ll support you every step of the way, providing you with guidance and insights to pick the right sales price, select a competitive offer, and more.


Get in touch for a confidential conversation with  “no strings” attached.

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