The majority of Americans who are 65 or older will require at least some long-term care in their lives, according to LongTermCare.gov, which is managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For many adults, this means moving a parent into senior housing, assisted living or another type of elder care facility. When it’s time to sell your parents’ home, here are some things to keep in mind that may make the process a little easier.
Work with an experienced Real Estate Professional
Selling a home can be an emotional experience, particularly if the sale is related to a parent’s health issues and leaving a home they’ve been in for decades. A real estate professional can provide expertise and assistance that may take some of the difficulties of the situation out of your hands. According to Zillow, an agent can note repairs that will need to be made and how to stage the home so it attracts buyers. Zillow also notes that a real estate professional will handle the daily tasks that come with selling a home — scheduling showings, fielding calls and vetting buyers — leaving you more time to handle daily tasks and your parents’ transition to a new home.
Run A Title Search on the Property
Before putting the house on the market, HomeLight.com recommends doing a title search on the property. A title report provides information from property deeds, county land records, tax records and other financial documents, according to Realtor.com. It will help determine whether the property is free from liens or lawsuits, if there are secondary mortgages on the property and that no one other than your family member(s) can claim ownership of the property.
If your parents are unable to provide much information on the property, it’s critical to work with an experienced real estate agent who understands the importance of obtaining title insurance. Title insurance helps protect you and your parents and ensures the property is free of encumbrances and liens. This can provide some peace of mind, as you’ll know there should not be a delay when it comes time to close on the property.
Consult With an Elder Care Attorney
It may be wise to consult with an elder care attorney before putting your parents’ home on the market. Only the owner of a home can sell it, says AgingCare.com, which means you cannot legally sell their home without the proper authority to act on their behalf. Hopefully your parents are still able to make decisions for themselves, but it can be helpful to have a plan in place should they no longer be able to do so. Establishing the appropriate power of attorney will allow you to act on their behalf for financial and property decisions, as outlined in the legal document, according to Investopedia.
If one or both of you parents are no longer able to make financial decisions for themselves but have not established power of attorney, AgingCare.com says you will likely need to petition for legal guardianship. This can be an involved process, and an elder care attorney will be able to advise you on how to go about this properly.
When a parent needs to move into senior housing, there is a lot to handle — both emotionally and financially. Knowing what to do when that time comes, and getting the appropriate help from professionals, can help you stay focused on your parents and make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
If you are a real estate agent who has questions about selling a client’s parents’ home, Landtrust Title Services can help. Please contact us today at [email protected] or by phone at (312) 528-9210.