Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Selling My Parents House

Is your parents' house an asset or a liability?

Many times as our parents are aging we think about the logistics of who will take care of them, is their will/estate planning in line, etc and of course we go through a series of emotions about the potential of losing them.

Something that is often over looked or pushed aside is their home. We often forget that maintenance gets harder as people age, physically, financially and even mentally (did I change the furnace filter?). Not only do homes that aren't maintained deteriorate faster, the plummet in resale value.

What can you do about it? Make a list and prioritize. Here is a list from Bob Vila to get you started or you may visit my (longer) list by clicking HERE.

So what do you do if your parents have already moved out and you are getting ready to sell their house?
Go through he whole maintenance checklist now or hire an handyman to do so.  You will want to find any problems before a potential buyer does.  What may only cost you $100 to fix will look like $1000 to a potential buyer and hurt you when it comes to negotiating the best price for the house.

Once you have had the home maintenance reviewed and completed, it's time for cosmetics.

The cheapest thing to do is CLEAN.  Cleaning often includes de-cluttering.  Tis best to have have only a few key pieces of furniture in a house.  Buyers often have a hard time seeing past all the "stuff" in a house.  You may want to consult a professional if this is overwhelming to you.

Once you have everything clean, you can evaluate for updates that will provide the best return.

Removing wallpaper and painting a neutral color can make a huge difference in a home that is otherwise out of date. You may need to hire this one out but it's often worth the return on your investment.

Other items you can do to quickly update a home are:

  • New cabinet hardware
  • New light fixtures
  • New appliances
  • New Carpet and Linoleum (especially if it is very worn or a color that is 20 years out of date)

Imagine this room minus the curtains and with fresh paint and carpet!
Paint and carpet are two things that you will see a lot of banks doing with foreclosures.  Why would they make this investment on a property they most likely have already lost money on?  Because it has proven to be a good return on their investment in both the price they get for the house and the amount of time it takes to sell.  Often they will also add a low cost set of new kitchen appliances if they were missing or in poor condition.

Are you ready to sell or need referrals to help get these things done?
Let me know!

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