In the first part of this series, we found Lisa faced with the difficult task of preparing to move her mom who was having a hard time safely navigating stairs and maintaining her 50-year-old home.
Now that Lisa has set the groundwork by talking to her mom about moving and organizing a lifetime’s worth of belongings, it’s time to find a new, more manageable place and sell the family home.
Finding a New Home for Your Senior Loved One
Based on their earlier conversation, Lisa can now help her mom start looking for a new place in the location she wants to be and with the amenities she wants or needs. Based on her mother’s health and ability to live on her own, she may be looking for a smaller, single-story home, condo, or senior living community. Another option they may have previously discussed was having her move in with Lisa or another family member. Senior placement specialists are available across the country and can help find the perfect place for a loved one, often at no charge to the client.
Once the new home has been selected, announcing the new address may help the move seem more positive. In addition to the standard change of address forms needed for banks, Medicare, investment accounts, social organizations, and subscriptions, encourage the your loved one to send cards to friends and relatives with their new address and anticipated move date.
Selling the Family Home
Selling the family home isn’t only hard on the individual moving out, it is often also difficult for the adult children and grandchildren who have also made memories there. In the case of Lisa, who is an only child, she has only her mother’s emotions and her own to take into account. In families with multiple kids, some may be able to easily part with the home while others are more attached and less willing to sell. Taking pictures of the interior and exterior of the home before it is sold and putting them in an album can help those who are having a hard time letting go and be a good reminder to seniors that they will always have their memories, no matter where they live.
The best way to move toward selling the home is to find a realtor who is familiar with the area and preferably has experience in selling seniors’ homes. They will have knowledge of the current local housing market, be able to assist in determining a list price, and even offer suggestions for potential updates that may make the home more attractive to buyers.
It is almost always beneficial to have the house organized and decluttered before listing it for sale. This can be time-consuming, especially if most of the immediate family lives out of town and is only available for a couple days here and there as their schedules permit. Using a senior move management company ensures the home is ready to be shown by a given date and belongings are packed and removed on schedule by a professional mover. Their downsizing process includes organizing and categorizing everything in the home, moving belongings to be kept to the senior’s new home, and eliminating unwanted items through auction, donation, or purging.
In most situations, it’s best if the loved one can be moved into their new home before the old house goes on the market. They won’t be faced with strangers going through their home, which is difficult psychologically, and they won’t need to find somewhere else to go during showings, which can be difficult logistically.
In Part III, we’ll talk about actually moving your loved one and getting them settled into their new home.