How do you Help your Elderly Parent Downsize and Sell The Family Home?

Reblogger Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Real Estate Agent with Realty One Group CA 01938972,CA 00902455

Here is an excellent blog from Fred Griffin and the advice found within should be taken to heart by all of us faced with a 'Family Home' sale opportunity.

Norm

Original content by Fred Griffin Florida Broker BK436788

    The time comes for many families when the elderly parents are no longer able to care for the large house that the family grew up in.  The parents want to "downsize", perhaps to a retirement community or assisted living facility.  What steps should the adult children take to help their parent(s) sell their house?

 

House in Tallahassee, Florida

 

     I was contacted recently by a family who is deciding "what to do" about selling Mama's house, and settling her into a new place.  Could I come by, and look at their house, and talk with them about it?

     One of the adult daughters greeted me at the door.  "Mama has lived in this house since the early 1950's," she informed me.  "She and Daddy raised us all right here."  The walls of the house were adorned with family photos.  I was shown the late husband's office and library. 

      "Mama doesn't want to leave all of this, and neither do we, but you know it's such a big house and everything, we just feel like the time has come.  We looked at that new assisted living place off of Thomasville Road; we have talked with them about it, they would take good care of Mama, the cost is not an issue for us, but we still are not sure." 

     The daughter continued.  "My brother and my sister don't really want to sell this house, but Sis lives in Atlanta and my brother is in Miami.  My husband and I are settled on the northeast side of Tallahassee; we wouldn't move back into this house.  So we are all discussing what to do about it."

 

 Family Photo

     It was my turn to speak.  "So you have two decisions to make, don't you?  First, your mother has to decide whether she wants to move into the assisted living place.  Second, there is this house.  If your mother moves out, should you sell the house?  Rent it?  Use the house for family gatherings now and then?"

     "Well, what if we decide to sell the house?  What do we need to do?" she asked.

 

House in Tallahassee, Florida

 

 

     Here is my advice to you, or to any family who is selling the house of a relative or elderly parent:

 

  1.  You as a family should make the decision together.  Your parent(s), as long as they are legally and mentally competent, will have the final say.

  2.  You need to consult an Attorney.  You want signed documentation from all of the children, and of course from your mother, that everyone is in agreement to sell the house.  If there is any misunderstanding in the future, you will have that document to remind each other that you all said, "Yes".  The Attorney will also give you any necessary legal advice regarding the sale.  If a Power of Attorney is needed, the Lawyer can create the required legal form.

  3.  You should also consult a CPA or Tax Attorney regarding the sale of your mother's principal residence.  You don't think that your mother will have to pay any Capital Gains Tax on the proceeds from the sale of this house, but you need a professional opinion from a CPA to be absolutely certain.

  4.  Get a pre-sale Home Inspection, and a pre-sale Wood Destroying Organisms Inspection (a "Termite Letter").  This can help you avoid unpleasant surprises; it can also help you if the Buyer wants to renegotiate after he or she makes his own inspections.

  5.  Hire a Licensed Real Estate Appraiser to determine the asking price for your family house.  Provide the Appraiser with the reports from the Home Inspectors.  If a family member later says that, "Mama should have asked more money for the house," you have the written opinion of value from the Appraiser to justify why you priced it as you did.

  6.  Sell the house "As Is, Subject to Inspections".  The house I was called about was built in the year 1952.  That 65-year old house may need thousands of dollars in repairs and upgrades (I sold a house recently that required $35,000 worth of structural repairs).  See your Attorney before you sign ANY contract that reads, "Seller Warrants", or "Seller Agrees to Make Necessary Repairs".

  7.  "Mama" needs to move to her new home before we put this house on the market.  It will be much easier to show the house to prospective Buyers, and to sell the house, if it is already vacant.  Get your mother settled into her new home at the assisted living complex, then we will put the house up for sale.

 

 

Married Couple Husband and Wife Historic

 

   

    When the time comes to sell the house of an elderly parent or relative, there are certain steps that you and your family should take.  See an Attorney and a CPA for legal and financial advice.  Have the property inspected to get a professional overview of the condition of the house.  Hire an Appraiser to help you set the highest realistic asking price.  If it is financially feasible, vacate the house before putting it on the market.

 

__________________________

 

Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

 

Frederick Griffin, Licensed Real Estate Broker    Tallahassee, Florida

 

HUD Logo Fair Housing

 

 

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Rainmaker
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Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Fred Griffin definitely 'hit the nail on the head' with this one, Gabe Sanders ; Thanks!

Jun 18, 2017 06:58 AM #29
Rainmaker
1,349,091
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Many thanks, Brian England Have a fun day in the Sun and heat of Gilbert!

Jun 18, 2017 06:58 AM #30
Rainmaker
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Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire

Hi

Good eye on reposting this excellent read. Thanks and cheers cvc

Jun 18, 2017 09:07 AM #31
Rainmaker
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Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Norm, a great re-blog by Fred Griffin that speaks louder than words in its meaning...great steps!

Jun 18, 2017 10:33 AM #32
Rainmaker
1,349,091
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Thanks, Curtis Van Carter Hope you enjoyed a pleasant weekend

Jun 19, 2017 04:25 AM #33
Rainmaker
1,349,091
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

That Fred Griffin is a valued member, no question about it, Ginny Gorman. Thank you!

Jun 19, 2017 04:26 AM #34
Rainmaker
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Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group - Alexandria, VA
Your Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Agent

What a great choice for a re-blog. Fred did an excellent job laying out the steps the family should take if they decide to sell. Very hard decision no matter what direction they go in. 

Jun 19, 2017 04:44 AM #35
Rainmaker
1,349,091
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

It sure beats a stressed sale with regretful carelesly made decisions. Thanks, Amanda S. Davidson !

Jun 19, 2017 05:16 AM #36
Rainmaker
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Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

A great choice of a reblog as it is a part of the market i deal with often, people selling their long term home with me and buying an over 55 home, condo or even moving South Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386 

Jun 21, 2017 05:28 AM #37
Rainmaker
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

This is an excellent selection for a reblog and important advice to share.

Jun 21, 2017 05:58 AM #38
Rainmaker
1,349,091
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Many thanks, Scott Godzyk and Fred Griffin deserves all the credit here.

Jun 21, 2017 06:28 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,349,091
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Thanks for reading Fred Griffin's post, Roy Kelley !

Jun 21, 2017 06:28 AM #40
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Paul S. Henderson, CRS, REALTOR®,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

Thank you for the Timely reblog of a fine blog post Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386 

Jun 22, 2017 09:49 AM #41
Rainmaker
1,349,091
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Thank you, Paul S. Henderson, CRS, REALTOR®, Your comments are always appreciated.

Jun 22, 2017 12:16 PM #42
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

What a great post. I am running into this quite often and love to be able to help. We have to use lots of patience.

Jun 22, 2017 05:47 PM #43
Rainmaker
1,349,091
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

So true, Debbie Reynolds and for those without the compassion and patience, there is that 8-5 job awaiting them at Walmart.

Jun 23, 2017 04:31 AM #44
Rainmaker
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Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Hallmark Realtors - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Great advice. There is a lot to consider when a parent's home becomes too big for them. It can be overwhelming.

Jun 24, 2017 06:26 AM #45
Rainmaker
1,349,091
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

So true, Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl and in many cases there are additional services required from us. I recently had one and the children asked me to sell their mother's car, as well.

Jun 24, 2017 06:35 AM #46
Rainmaker
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Steven Nickens
Elite Pacific Properties Maui - Wailea, HI
R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii

Well written article, very informative.  I just closed an estate sale on Maui. Can be an emotional time for the sellers family.

Jul 17, 2017 07:55 PM #47
Rainmaker
1,349,091
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Steven Nickens many thanks for your commentand I am sure you were relieved when your transaction closed.

Jul 18, 2017 02:34 AM #48
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