5 Things to Consider when Selling your Parent’s Home

family home

Selling your parent’s home and likely the home you grew up in, can be a very emotional time. Whatever the circumstances, it is a life changing event for everyone involved.  Many decisions will need to be made regarding the family home and emotions can run high during the process.

  1. If your parent(s) are living, they could be the one(s) to transfer the home to a buyer. However, if they are suffering from memory issues, or are otherwise incapable, then a person designated as power of attorney, or a family trust, or even a court appointed advocate could be the ones to sign forms for the sale of the home. It will be important to use a realtor who has had experience in working with seniors or selling a parent’s home.
  2. Once it is determined who is the designated seller, one of the first things to do is make sure real estate taxes are paid to current. It is important to know if there are any other liens that could impede a sale. But unpaid real estate taxes, if not addressed, can lead to a potential foreclosure. Again, this is information that a competent realtor will be able to address.
  3. To put a home on the market is a multi-step process.
      • After choosing your realtor to list the home when ready, he or she can guide you to the things that need to be done in an orderly fashion.
      • That will include things as simple as cleaning out of perishable food items, and removing obstructions that don't allow free movement within the house.
      • It could even include things like adding a fresh coat of paint or other repairs or enhancements to help maximize the sale price. Many times, people feel overwhelmed, and getting help from a realtor is not something one thinks about. But good brokers are there to help you through the entire process from beginning to end.
      • Next, families need to find and remove important paperwork, heirlooms, and expensive items, which can take more time than people think. This will include finding an equitable process to distribute or divide up anything that family members may like or choose to hold onto. Communication between family members, the executor, and other interested parties is essential to a smooth transition!
      • Things like estate sales, determining what items will be thrown out or will be sold are the next steps. A family can hold a sale or hire a company to hold it. The option is there for a family to hire a company to price the items and advertise while the family still holds the sale. Items not sold can be donated to charity.
      • After that, items not able to be sold or donated will need to be removed from the property.
  4. Many times the family home may not have been well-maintained as the parents became less able to deal with everyday maintenance issues. An experienced realtor, especially one who specializes in working with seniors, can help in the process of suggesting vendors to get estimates, make repairs, and decommission oil tanks.
    • Once a contract to purchase has been submitted to the seller, it will likely include a time period for the buyer to have the house inspected. This is an important step in the process where your broker is a valuable asset. The items that can appear in an inspection report are a wide range of potentially costly repairs. The items listed in an inspect report are negotiable and that is where the family members and their real estate agent decide what is important to address and the repairs the sellers are unwilling or unable to do.
  5. Use a Realtor with Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) credentials. These realtors have educational qualifications and are aware of the financial and emotional impact of selling a family home. It is important that any real estate broker you choose is a full-time agent. In the purchase and sale of real estate, things can happen at a hectic pace, not necessarily between normal daytime business hours.

Hopefully this information will assist you in selling your parent's house in King or Snohomish county. If you need further information, call or text me at 206-604-5186 or email me at the address listed above.