Talking With Your Parents About Selling Their Home

Between cleaning, repairs, paperwork, and finding a buyer, selling your family home can be difficult enough. These issues are compounded if you must discuss selling and moving with aging parents. Developing an emotional attachment to a house you have inhabited for several years is only natural, and many people set a goal to “age in place” wherever they feel most comfortable.

Unfortunately, aging in place isn’t always a possibility due to medical, financial, or other limitations. When this is the case, it’s time to have a talk with your parents and consider selling the family home. Here are some tips to help you approach this sensitive subject more easily.

Take Time to Understand Their Needs

The reasons for choosing to stay in the same house for as long as possible vary significantly from person to person. Knowing this, how can you attempt to convince your parents that moving out is worth considering? As always, the most effective tactic in negotiation is understanding the other party’s point of view. While financial concerns may be a top priority for one parent, the other may attach greater value to the feeling of independence that comes with living on their own.

While some people are hesitant to sell their homes out of appreciation for what they have, another common motivation is fear of what may come next. Your job as you steer your parents toward the right decision is to paint a clear picture of what they should expect. Work with their financial advisor if possible to develop a secure plan, and weigh the benefits of independent living vs. assisted living for your parents' unique situation.

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Reference the Cost of Upkeep

One inevitable fact about owning a house is that maintenance costs are likely to increase year after year. American Family Insurance notes that “Depending on how a home’s been cared for, you can expect to pay about one percent of your home’s current market value in annual maintenance expenses.”

This upward creep in maintenance costs probably hasn't gone unnoticed, but you should still bring it to attention over the course of your conversation. Common sources of rising maintenance costs include HVAC efficiency loss, plumbing leaks, insulation failure, and electrical problems. Make sure your parents understand that these issues will greatly diminish their home's comfort and will cost more and more to rectify every year. 

Make Safety Concerns Clear

Naturally, your parents will know that you have their best interests in mind when you bring up the subject of selling their home. However, it is worthwhile to bring up your specific worries so they can see plainly how you are trying to protect their safety. This will give them grounded facts to fall back on if they feel anxious or depressed over leaving their home.

Elderly people with limited mobility may be unsafe living alone in homes that seem to meet normal standards of safety. If your parents' home lacks features like safety rails, bedside steps, or a low-entry bathtub, make sure they understand that you're concerned about these risks. A power or HVAC system failure in an aging home can pose a serious health risk for elderly occupants during periods of extreme temperatures.

Consider Selling to a Cash Buyer

For some people, the biggest deterrent to selling is the complexity of the process. Finding a reputable real estate agent, handling the paperwork, and managing repairs and appraisals is no small undertaking for anyone. Your parents may be unwilling to take on the stress of selling their home when the alternative is more comfortable for now, but this is where cash buyers come in.

Cash buyers simplify the process of selling your home by ruling out the paperwork, the realtors, and the hassle. Requesting an offer from Simply is stress-free and can be completed in 30 seconds! With a cash buyer, your parents won’t have to wait for their buyer's financing to finalize or worry about repairs before they can complete the sale. Selling to a cash buyer will also provide immediate funds that they can use during their move.

Selling Your Family Home is an Opportunity

Getting caught up in the emotions and difficulties surrounding selling your parents’ home is easy to do. However, it could also be the start of an exciting new chapter! If you focus on these conversation points, it will be easier to communicate with your parents about the benefits and possibilities that could come with selling their house. After all, this is a conversation that everyone is likely to face sooner or later. Consider selling off-market for cash with Simply to make the process go as smoothly as possible!

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