aging senior citizens

For sale with sold and flowers
While doing real estate research this week, I happened upon a very interesting article, Preparing for a Home Inspection. It's a good list for everyone who has to sell their home, and especially so for those of us in the Sandwich Generation caring for our aging parents' real estate needs and helping them sell their beloved homes when health needs dictate downsizing. In that situation, we're already juggling more than we'd like and speed can definitely be important. Having a checklist means one less stress of trying to remember what to do next.

I'm a BIG fan of checklist to dos for everything (I LOVE Listary and Evernote for those), and this would be a great list to add to either of those. Along with the writer, Adam Gallegos, I would add the encouragement to do all these BEFORE ordering any kind of home inspection. But once you've done all this, if the house isn't moving as quickly as you need it to, you could order your own home inspection and give a copy of an overview of the report to each person who looks at the house. Since many buyers request these anyway, it can be a great way of offering a "bonus" to an interested buy of your senior parent's home without actually costing you more than you already planned to spend.

Another excellent preparation step you and your senior parents can take is to remove any item(s) from the house that they do NOT want to include in the sale of the house. I read this idea in a book years ago. When we were relocating and had found the house we eventually bought, I asked our agent to put a note in the offer that the curtains should all stay. He laughed and said, "Of course they will." But having read that not all sellers do leave items, I insisted. And guess what, the buyers said, "No!" It wasn't a dealbreaker for us. They did leave blinds and I was fine about that.

But I learned a vital lesson that day. If the buyer wants something specific, be sure to put it in the offer and hope they say yes. AND if the seller doesn't want something included, be sure it's removed from the home before showing. I wasn't mad about those curtains but it did bug me a bit. And I've read stories of buyers who were so mad about something not being included, the whole sale fell through. That's the last thing a caregiver needs to deal with in the midst of other health crises, isn't it?

How about you and your Sandwich Generation family? Got any great tips to help us when it's time for our aging parents to sell their home? We'd love to hear.