Selling a home is always quite a challenge, even in the best of circumstances. But when you’re trying to sell the home of an elderly, widowed, or unwell parent in order to pay for their long-term healthcare expenses, it becomes another matter entirely. You are not the first person to travel this unexpected path.
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the scenario is getting all parties to agree on a course of action. And by “all those affected,” we mean your parents and any siblings you may have.
It can be helpful to establish a starting point in the decision-making process. What is the biggest need you’re trying to solve for? If most of you can agree that your parent requires full-time care, and the siblings are unable to carry it out, the most obvious solution is to sell up the home to pay for their long-term care solution.
Selling Your Parent’s Lifelong Home Is Hard
Many people have all sorts of happy memories from living in the home. As with many good things, there comes a time when you have to move beyond being the sentimental, and simply face what needs to be done.
Let’s be frank. Healthcare and long-term care costs are expensive and rising. There are few other ways for most people to find funds to employ a live-in caregiver without money from the sale of a property.
And, moreover, if you find your parents the right assisted living home, they will be able to get all the help they could need around the clock, a full 7 days a week.
This would really take a lot of pressure off yourself, your partner, your siblings, and anyone else who’s similarly affected. Most would agree on this, but then comes the problem. How should you sell your parent’s home, and what is the best solution?
In this article, we’re going to provide you with a few tips that will help move the sale of your parent’s home forward as quickly as possible.
Selling Your Parent’s Home: Who Should Manage the Sale?
If your aging parent is still very much mentally aware and astute, it is only right that they should be the one to organize the selling of their home. It may even make them feel left out or disregarded if they were denied this opportunity, which is the last thing you would want.
If, however, this could lead to significant stress for the parent concerned or affect their health, you could relieve them of this burden by getting a power of attorney (POA) to handle all the necessary paperwork on their behalf. And if the parent is not fully capable of handling the transaction, then you will have to take this course of action.
The good news is that appointing someone POA is a relatively brief and straightforward process. If your parent is in poor mental health, a medical professional can declare them as incompetent to handle the process and under an attorney, an alternative individual (such as, but not necessarily, yourself) can be appointed their POA acting on their behalf.
In some states, such as Texas, this process will involve the homeowner checking a box on the Real Estate POA form reading “Sale of Real Estate” and this will give the person with POA the authority to sell the house. And this POA form must be signed by all parties before a notary public, and be recorded in the county’s real property records.
Standard And Reverse Mortgages
Selling a house that has a standard mortgage is relatively straightforward. The proceeds of the sale can go towards any remaining bills or debts, and whatever remains can go towards paying for your parent’s long-term care.
But remember, until the house has been sold, you must continue to make mortgage payments, even when the parent has moved out. Selling a house in foreclosure is a different situation altogether. Unpaid debts on the house will result in a lien. Selling a house with a lien on it can make the transaction potentially more complicated later.
However, if your parents had taken out a reverse mortgage, things become a little more tricky. When the lender finds out that the house is no longer occupied, they will often send out a letter demanding payment. And normally, this letter requests that payment be made within 30 days of the date on the letter.
If you cannot arrange payment in time, you can often explain this to the mortgage lender and be granted a 6-month extension, and possibly further extensions on top of that.
And while you’re waiting for a sale, you still have to pay things like property taxes, any ongoing house insurance, HOA dues, and so on.
Meanwhile, the mortgage lender will be adding on interest and other fees that will steadily increase the balance owed until a sale is made.
So, regardless of whether your parent is currently paying a standard mortgage or receiving a reverse mortgage, the faster you can sell the house, the more money can be put to your parent’s long-term care, and the better all around.
Selling Mom and Dad’s House: On-Market Vs Off-Market
Once a decision has been made about who has the authority to sell the house, the next decision is whether to sell the house on the market or off.
And we’re going to level with you. Selling the home as-is and off the market is so much less hassle than selling on the market the traditional route! Especially when you’ve got busy lives to lead and children of your own to take care of.
If you were to sell the home on the market, you will be expected by any real estate agent to prepare the property for top condition. It’s not uncommon that a parent’s home has deferred maintenance, so you’ll need to oversee repairs to bring the property up to newer, modern-day code and safety standards.
Selling your parent’s home on the market will also require decorating or staging. Listing agents will expect you to make the property attractive to buyers in today’s market.
The plumbing may need re-doing, and outdated appliances may have to be replaced. Plus, there’s also the deep cleaning to worry about.
If, however, you were to sell the property off the market for cash, buyers are used to seeing homes that need work. Repair issues will not be a problem.
In Houston, there are many reputable companies that will buy the house fast for cash. We personally do this every week. Most people are surprised they can do this without making any repairs, updates or decorating.
Best of all, selling for cash can be closed in a matter of days because you don’t have to wait for mortgage processing, inspections, or appraisals.
All this means that your parents will receive the proceeds from the sale sooner rather than later. Which is perfect if their healthcare and living needs are starting to become more urgent.
Summary: Selling Your Parent’s House for Cash is a Great Option
Selling an empty house or facing the reality that your parents go to live somewhere else can be daunting for all involved. No one prepares adult children for this stage of life, and it can arrive suddenly. However, we are here to help by showing you all of your options. We have helped many families navigate these challenges, and can help you find peace of mind as well.
Reach out today for a no-risk, free consultation about your parent’s home.