How to Help a Senior Sell His or Her Home Quickly

Do you know a senior who’s looking to sell his or her home? Maybe the senior is preparing to move into an assisted living community, or perhaps he or she just wants to downsize to a smaller home. Regardless, you should consider helping through this process. Below are several tips on how to help a senior sell his or her home quickly.

Clean the Clutter

Upon seeing clutter, many prospective home buyers will immediately abandon the home during an open house in search of a different property to purchase. Whether the senior’s home has cardboard boxes stacked to the ceiling, unused “junk” furniture, trash or any other clutter, you should focus on cleaning it up.

When de-cluttering the senior’s home, create four separate piles of items: keep, trash, sell and donate. Before placing an item into any of these piles, ask the senior what he or she wants to do with it. Don’t trash, sell or donate any items that the senior wants to keep.

Touch Up the Landscape

Research shows homes with an attractive landscape sell for 10% or 15% more money than homes with a messy or otherwise unattractive landscape. Of course, this statistic shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that the landscape creates the first impression of a home. If the senior’s home has an unattractive landscape, it will discourage prospective buyers from checking out the interior, which could result in a longer time on market as well as a lower sale price.

You can improve the senior’s landscape in the following ways:

  • Mow the lawn at least once a week during spring and summer and once a month during fall and winter.
  • Add mulch to flowerbeds and around trees.
  • Rake and remove fallen leaves, pine cones, limbs and other yard debris.
  • Edge the driveway and any sidewalks.
  • Pull up or apply herbicide to invasive weeds.
  • Don’t store lawnmower or other tools or equipment on the front of the lawn. Store them either in a shed or behind the senior’s home.
  • If there are any bare patches in the senior’s lawn, fertilize them during early spring.

Partner With the Right Agent

You should also help the senior find the right real estate with whom to work. While all licensed real estate agents have the authority to sell homes on behalf of clients, some are better skilled at selling senior-owned homes than others.

When calling and emailing prospective real estate agents, inquire about their level of experience with selling senior-owned homes. You’ll probably discover that some real estate agents are highly experienced at selling homes on behalf of seniors. They know how to pitch senior-owned homes as being gently used and well maintained, making them an attractive choice for prospective buyers.

Make the Necessary Repairs

Is the senior’s current home damaged? If so, you should consider repairing it. Even if the home is structurally sound, minor damage may discourage prospective buyers from purchasing it, in which case you can expect a longer time on market.

Cracks in the wall, for example, create an eyesore that may lead prospective buyers to believe the home suffers from other forms of damage as well. If you discover any cracks in the wall, either patch them yourself or hire a professional to patch them.

Another common form of damage that can deter prospective buyers is a broken window. Assuming the curtains and blinds are closed, a broken window won’t be visible from inside the home. From the outside, however, a broken window will stand out while projecting an unkempt appearance. Glass windows aren’t cheap to replace, but it will pay off in the form of a faster sale and potentially a higher sale process.

Stage It

Staging is arguably one of the most effective ways to prepare a senior’s home for a quick sale. What is staging exactly? When used in the context of real estate, the term “staging” refers to the multi-step process of preparing a home so that it’s appealing to the largest audience of prospective buyers possible.

When you stage a senior’s home, you’ll decorate the interior and exterior while also cleaning and removing unnecessary items. The foyer or entryway, for example, should be decorated to create a more welcoming environment. Just a few basic decorations, such as a desk and lamp, will create a more inviting atmosphere that encourages prospective buyers to check out the rest of the home.

Decorating the walls is another essential step to staging a senior’s home for a quick sale. Blank walls devoid of any artwork, photos or other decorations will only result in a longer time on market.

In Conclusion

It frustrating when a senior wants or needs to move but can’t because no one will purchase their current home. You can give them a helping hand, however, by following the tips outlined here.

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