One of life’s most challenging aspects is watching our Mum and Dads age. Then comes the day when you realize your parents have lost their physical independence.
Whether they are downsizing into a smaller, less maintenance-intensive home or are moving in with you or to an independent villa or rest home, giving up a long-loved home is wrenching.
Thankfully, they have you and you have us. We have tips to help your parent or parents — and you — through this tough time.
Get legal advice
You may be required to use the proceeds of the sale to pay for your Mum and Dads care if they will be moving to an assisted living facility or long-term care facility.
Speak with your attorney early in the process to learn about the complex aspects of selling an elderly parent’s home and what the legal aspects entailed are. Also a great time to have your will updated if needed and appoint a power of attorney.
Line up some help
Cleaning out a family home is a huge job, so don’t try to tackle this alone. If you have siblings, enlist their help. In fact, insist on it. Friends are also often happy to help out here or provide some child care if needed while you take care of the task at hand.
Not only will you need their muscle, but having family around may help ease your parents’ transition as well.
Otherwise, hire some help. Visit the neighbours to let them know what’s happening and ask for a referral to local manual labourers. Who knows? They may even volunteer to help.
Hire a real estate agent
It may seem that it’s too early in the process to hire a listing agent, but we disagree, and here’s why.
Your agent should see the home before you start moving things out of it. Advice on what to leave for staging purposes is invaluable.
Ask for tips on whether to paint, replace carpet and other updates that will make the home more attractive to potential buyers. If a few simple extras could really improve your sale price its totally worth the effort.
Your agent will also be able to refer you to an estate sale company (if needed to help get rid of belongings), cleaners, painters and more.
Hiring an agent early in the process also allows Mum and Dad to get to know the agent and feel more comfortable about the sale process.
It’s time to purge
Purging a lifetime of belongings (and memories) will be the most challenging aspect of downsizing for your parents. What to keep, what to get rid of, will be decisions not easily made.
It’s not the items themselves but the memories that will make some items hard to part with. You will learn stories from your parents about all sorts of items and enjoy sharing these memories with them.
One way to ease your parents’ reluctance is to promise them that you will photograph everything they decide to get rid of and place the photos in a lovely scrapbook that they can take with them to their new home.
Or, if they prefer, you can video their cherished-but-leaving items. This way, they’ll still be able to refresh those memories.
Still, unless the parent is suffering from dementia, it’s important to allow him or her to take the lead in the purge. Yes, it will be slow-going, but it’s important that, in the future, they don’t look back and feel they were railroaded into getting rid of certain items.
Gather family members together to go through your mum and dads purge pile. As one elderly woman in an online forum stated, “It is SO much better to know cherished family things will continue on.”
Have conversations with Mum about these items and the stories behind them. This helps ease her anxiety and lets her know that the memories associated with the items will live on.
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About the Author: The above article on Selling Mum and Dad’s Home was written and provided by Brent Palmer, a local leader in the field of Richmond and Nelson Real Estate sales, marketing, advanced technology for home selling, and social media. You can contact Brent Palmer here, or at 027 544 9921.
He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.
Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for helping people sell their homes in our Nelson and Tasman Region, as well as the marketing, social media & advanced technology for home selling that goes along with it. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with you discuss how we can work together to get you the best price.
I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Nelson and Tasman towns & neighbourhoods: Wakefield, Brightwater, Hope, Appleby, Redwood Valley, Mapua, Stoke, Tahunanui, Atawhai and of course, Richmond and Nelson City. Connect with Brent on Facebook and pretty much everywhere else.
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