It’s a weird transition when kids start taking care of their parents, more than the parents take care of the kids. If your parents are thinking of selling your beloved childhood home and downsizing, it could be a good idea to offer them your help during the selling process. After all, your parents’ target buyer is other millennials, just like you.
Unfortunately, selling your parents’ home might not be as simple as it seems. Mom and Dad haven’t renovated their house in 20 years and they refuse to declutter.
This guide will give you key tips to help smoothly guide your parents through the selling process.
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How To Talk To Mom And Dad About Selling
As they say, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Mom and Dad might not be ready to let go of their dream home they spent their early lifesaving for and then raising you and your siblings in.
If your parents are retiring or need a home that’s more suitable for their future, it’s probably time to downsize and it’s a good idea for you to guide them through it.
If you think your parents will be hesitant, start by setting aside a time to talk. Don’t choose any holidays or birthdays. Leave any significant others or kids at home.
If you have any siblings, talk to them first. You’ll want to make sure you’re all on the same page before approaching your parents. Especially if any of you are chipping in financially for renovations, discuss how you’ll recoup your money. This will help mitigate any fights between you and your brothers and sisters down the line.
Present the facts
Come armed with research and facts, so the decision can be more practical than emotional. Showing them comparable listings in their area will help them understand how much they could get by selling their house. Show them how their monthly budget will change without a large mortgage payment.
Then, come up with a plan. Recommend a few savvy realtors that have recently sold homes in their neighborhood. More than 58 percent of millennials found their house on a real estate app, so you’ll want to check out the real estate agent’s presence online.
You may be wanting to act as your own realtor, but remember you likely have an emotional attachment to this house, as well. Outsourcing the job to a professional will get it done right, and get it done quicker.
Also, be sure to tell your parents that you are willing to help get the house ready and eventually help them move. You should also set the expectations that selling their house could take a few months; so it’s nothing that is happening right this instance.
Help them declutter
You can’t tell your parents to throw away their things if you don’t start with your own.
Head upstairs to your childhood room and start sorting items to keep, throw and sell. When your parents downsize, there likely won’t be a room for you. Either sell your furniture, take it to your new home, or throw it all away.
Next, it is time to help your parents declutter the rest of the house. Your parents may struggle to part with items that have sentimental value. Offer to rent them a storage space until they sell the house to help make the area more appealing to buyers.
Call a dumpster company to make garbage removal smoother. If some of their things hold monetary value, consider throwing a garage sale to help make them extra money and get rid of the extra items.
Help them take down any pictures from the wall, and give it a fresh coat of paint. And then put the photos in a box until after the house sells, this will help buyers envision themselves in the house, instead of just seeing all the photos of your family at Disney World.
If you’re still struggling to declutter, consider hiring a professional to help take the emotional equation out of it for everyone.
Consider overseeing any renovations
Millennials do have a reputation for being busy and lazy. What this means for your parents is the prospective buyer is looking for a turnkey house with little to no work to be done.
If your parents’ home is dated and needs an upgrade, consider overseeing the renovation yourself. Hire a contractor, but you be the point person for communication. You should also be the one to pick out any finishes because your tastes will likely mirror other buyers on the market.
If most of the house is dated and a full renovation isn’t in the budget, consider just sprucing up the kitchen and bathroom to help sell the house quicker. You can also upgrade any old appliances.
If there are no renovations, make sure to survey the rest of the house and complete any repairs that need to be done before the first open house.
Finding a new place for your parents
Depending on your parents financial and health situation, this part can end up being the trickiest.
If your parents do plan to buy another home or apartment; take a look at the listing before visiting and see if it will be accessible as they start to age. For example, having an elevator if it’s in an apartment, or buying a ranch if it’s still a house.
Helping your parents decide on a budget and a list of must-haves before looking at any homes will help them have better expectations about what they can and can not buy. After all, this is a very different buying experience for them than when they purchased the home you just sold.