7 Tips for Selling Your Parent's House

An elderly couple holding a house key together with a real estate agent.

At some point in life, the time comes to sell our childhood home. Selling your parents’ house is more complicated than selling any other property. That is a fact. But we can’t let the melancholy and other emotions stop us from progressing. The following 7 tips will help you accomplish this specific task in the best way possible, with everyone that takes part in it being happy in the end.

1. Take care of your parents first

The first order of business is to take care of your parents first. You might have agreed with them to move to another home so you could sell theirs because that is what works best for you all. Before you proceed with the sale, it is crucial to find the retirement home first. Remember that these people have raised you into what you are today. They are responsible for your existence, so whatever they are like, you at least owe them help to find the proper forever home. Knowing that you have helped your parents find their peace is of more significant importance than you think, don’t let it dawn on you too late. 

2. Determine what repairs are necessary

As people get older, they grow a bit tired and start skipping the regular inspections one does around the house. Your father might have had it all under control when you were a kid, but now, as his health is not as it used to be, he has probably let things go a bit. That is all perfectly fine, but you should determine whether something needs fixing before the house goes on the market. Some damages may be cheaper to fix than the price reduction would be if they are discovered. Given that this is a fairly old house, there is bound to be something to repair. 

On the other hand, some damages do not affect the price to such an extent, so you should not bother to correct them before the sale. In any case, ensure you evaluate the situation correctly and act prudently, making your investments profitable. 

A man wearing a helmet and work overalls inspects a house while holding a clipboard.

Before selling your parent’s house, you must determine whether repair work needs to be done to increase its value.

3. Gather all the paperwork before selling your parents’ house

Today, there is rarely anyone that will just come and offer you cash and only care to look at the house they are buying. Most people want to see all the paperwork and check it out first. The good thing is that those older generations still value printed documents instead of electronic ones. Your parents have probably kept all of them somewhere, so you’ll need to catalog them correctly to have them all in one place when the time comes.

4. Find a good real estate agent to help you

The real estate market is a world with its rules, and to properly navigate it, it would be best to enlist a real estate agent to help you. They will be glad to do it, and selling a house will become easier for you. An excellent real estate agent will advise how to prepare your house to get the highest offers possible for such a property. Since their commission depends on how well they sell your home, you don’t have to worry whether they are on your side. You are on the same side, so it is only natural that you work together. 

5. Be delicate when cleaning your folks’ home

One of the most challenging stages of selling your parents’ house is cleaning it. First, you will face some items with very high emotional value for you but a very low practical one. What makes things worse is that all this will be even more nerve-wracking for your parents. They will need to let go of things they have been living with for decades. 

Don’t forget to be delicate when you are dealing with this issue. Remember, not everything in life has to have a rational explanation or a practical value. If your mom or dad are crying over some stupid old vase, let them, and by all means, don’t tell them they are being silly. Offer your opinion on whether those belongings should stay or go, but don’t insist. After all, those are your parents’ stuff, not yours, so whatever decision should be made regarding all that should be theirs. 

6. Organize relocation properly

When the moment comes to vacate the house, your parents might find it extra hard and heartbreaking. And on top of that, they might find the moving process difficult as an activity, given their fitness level is not precisely that of young people. That is where you, as their child, come in to help them with the process of relocating. Moving elderly parents should be done in an organized manner, with the exact date set and with all the supplies and workforce needed for that in place. You want your folks to go through it with minimum stress, which is only possible with good planning. 

A man holding a moving box in front of a van full of moving boxes.

To make this transition easier for your parents, organize their relocation properly and to the last detail.

7. Let the emotions out if that’s how you feel

Finally, when the sale is about to be concluded, it would not be uncommon to feel heartache because of all the emotions that suddenly emerge. Although you should not let the walk down memory lane cloud your judgment, you shouldn’t bottle up either. Whatever you are feeling, let it out. Cry over your old kid’s room if that is how you feel. Reminisce sadly with your parents about the good and bad times you had there. Simply let yourself feel what your soul is inevitably experiencing because only that way will you find your peace with the whole situation. Remember, if some decision makes you sad or angry, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. 

An older adult comforting a crying woman.

You shouldn’t bottle up your feelings about this sale, nor should your parents.

Final thoughts

Selling your parents’ house is always an emotional ride. With a bit of well-placed organization and a lot of sensitivity and patience, you can go through it to the satisfaction of everyone involved. So take a deep breath, arm yourself with tolerance and calmness, and all will go perfectly.

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