How To Help Seniors Sell Their Home


Selling a home can be a stressful time for any homeowner. For seniors looking to sell their home, the process comes with a unique set of challenges and things to keep in mind. Whether a senior person is selling their home due to retirement, looking to downsize for easier upkeep, or because they are ready to move into an assisted living or senior community, there are unique obstacles to selling a home for this demographic.


Seniors make-up a unique demographic in the real estate market. In most cases seniors have lived in their homes for many years and the property may need updates or repairs. When a senior is preparing to sell their home, it is usually connected to a large life change or is sometimes urgent due to a change in situation like needing assisted or medical care, which can make the process of selling the home especially emotional.


The key thing to remember is that selling a home can take time, so it is best to be prepared and have a plan of action for when that time comes. For seniors who are looking to get their homes sold as soon as possible so that plans can move forward, being prepared can make the process smooth for the senior person and their families.


When thinking about selling a home, open houses, showings, and offers usually come to mind first. However, the process of selling a home for a senior begins long before the for sale sign goes up in front of the house. 


Declutter As Soon As Possible

Oftentimes, Seniors have lived in their homes for many years and in that time they have accumulated clutter. The fuller a home is, the harder it can be for potential buyers to get a feel for the bones and space of the house. Homes with minimalist decor have a better chance of getting sold and perform better at open houses. 


Work with Seniors and their family members to decide which items will be going with seniors to their new homes and what is to be sold or handed down to the family. Marking items with colorful sticky notes can help keep things clear for the Senior, and give a visual sense of where items are destined. If possible hold estate sales or garage sales early in the home selling process, so that as much excess can be removed from the house as possible. 


If the home needs to sell quickly, moving clutter into a storage unit works well as a temporary plan, and gives the family and Senior more time to decide what to do with items. 


Get A Trusted Real Estate Agent

Seniors should consider working with a trusted real estate agent over selling the home themselves or working with a less reputable agent. Talk to a friend or family member who can give a good recommendation and work with a real estate agent who knows the area. Remember that seniors are a demographic that may be taken advantage of.


The process of selling a home for seniors can be more complex and it’s important to work with an agent who may understand these nuances. Consider working with a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), a special designation that real estate agents can receive through a certification course that helps them meet the unique challenges of selling homes for people over 55.


Make Small Repairs & Improve Curb Appeal

For older homes that buyers may view as “outdated” it may not be necessary to do big remodeling projects in order to sell that home. Indeed, old homes may be more marketable to a certain target market of home buyers who are interested in having a more vintage or home with some history. 


What can help is making small repairs like fixing a leaking pipe or patching up drywall. These small repairs can make a home seem like less of a “fixer upper” to potential home buyers. Little repairs can also make the home more marketable to the target buyer. 


Ask a friend or family member to help with small repairs or work with a reputable company to tackle repair jobs. While this might make the initial cost of selling the home higher, it could result in a faster sale of the home rather than it sitting on the market for months.


Curb appeal also matters as it is the first interaction a potential buyer may have with the property. Hire a professional company to trim bushes, trees, and clean up the landscape. A major overhaul may not be necessary, simply making the area around the home, and the exterior clean and tidy can make the biggest difference. What may seem like a small change can make the home more marketable to buyers.


Emotionally Prepare

Selling a home at any time can be emotional. A home is a place where memories are made and is an intimate part of life. For seniors and their families, selling a home can be even more emotional as it is often tied to a major life change, like the senior retiring, downsizing, or is sometimes care or health related. 


For seniors selling their homes, it is not only an emotional time for them but also their families who may have grown up in the home. 


During the sales process, it’s important that seniors and their families be transparent with each other about why the home sale is happening as it can help to ease tensions. It’s also a wonderful time to relive happy memories and focus the reason that seniors are selling the home and what the future holds for the next phase of life.


Seniors making the decision to sell their home can signify a big change in life. No matter what the reason, making preparations as early as possible can help make this step go smoothly. For seniors who are in need of short or long term care connected with the decision to sell their home, Liberty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Services can help meet seniors wherever they are in the journey.