Recently I was on a trip with my adult son. We had just started our walking adventure in an unknown city both carrying backpacks. Almost immediately he realized my backpack was heavier than his, so he offered to switch packs with me. He offered to carry my load because he knew he was better equipped physically to make the journey.
Selling a home can feel a lot like carrying around a backpack that is too heavy; traversing a path you are not familiar with. Assisting your parent sell their home can feel like you are carrying 2 oversized backpacks.
I can as a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), in a number of ways, carry your pack through the process. It might be tempting to sell the home on your own, to save the commission. I understand, I like to save money where I can as well. But keep in mind all the “stuff” that is in the “backpack” when you are selling a home.
If you are selling the family home you will find not only is the home filled with more possessions than you remembered, but there is way more emotion tied to it than you ever realized. Everyone has different memories of the home and they can be expressed in all sorts of ways. Emotions are often the reason it takes longer for the senior to get the home on the market. I can provide a sounding board for the emotions while still pointing everyone in the right direction.
Marketing homes for sale has changed significantly over the past 40 years. If your parent has owned their home for more than 10 years they may not have a full grasp on what it looks like now. When they purchased their home HGTV was not around, print advertising was an effective way of marketing a home and open houses were the first chance buyers had to see the inside. Now staging and good photos on-line are probably the most effective marketing tools.
Repairs or Remodel
Seniors often are resistant to making changes in their home to make it marketable. They don’t want to de-clutter, tear down wallpaper and stage the home for sale. This is a great time to let me carry your backpack. I can look at the situation with objectivity and come up with a reasonable time frame for having the home ready to put on the market. Let me be the “bad cop” in this situation. I can explain what needs to done and why making the changes can add money to the bottom line.
Showings for a senior can be difficult. If the senior is not able to drive anymore leaving the house for a showing can be impossible. As a SRES I understand this and have multiple suggestions for working through this.
Selling a home is no longer a handshake deal. A standard offer to purchase in the State of Wisconsin is typically around 20-26 pages of legal ease. There are home inspections, radon tests, appraisals, financing contingencies, contingent of home sale buyers and seller concessions.
Walking through the aging process with your parent is difficult. If you remember my son and I switched backpacks. I still had to carry one, so will you. There are numerous situations you will need to deal with throughout the process of selling, but hopefully I can lighten the load during this stressful time.