Selecting a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Parent’s Home When Moving to Assisted Living

When an older person makes the decision to move into long-term care, including assisted living, a great deal is on the line. This type of move nearly always is a major life change for a person in his or her Golden Years.

One of the more challenging aspects of a move to long-term care (again, including assisted living) oftentimes is the sale of the older individual’s home. Odds are significant that an older individual has resided in his or her home for what might truly be an extended period of time.

If it is your own parent that is moving into assisted living, there are six primary considerations to bear in mind when it comes to selecting the most appropriate real estate agent to sell your mother or father’s home:

  • Experience matters but focus on the person
  • Chemistry is fundamental
  • Compassion and understanding are key
  • Obtain referrals
  • Obtain agent references
  • Agent support team

Experience Matters but Focus on the Person

Forbes magazine spent some time discussing the importance of experience while focusing on the person of a real estate agent his or her self when looking to hire a realty professional. According to the well-regarded financial magazine:

You need to choose an agent who works for you and with you. Don’t choose an agent based solely on experience. Although it’s good to have, it’s not everything. You will be spending a lot of time with that agent and you need to mesh. Choose someone relatable and real. Choose for you, not for the house. Choose someone good at talking and negotiating.

Chemistry Is Fundamental

On a related note, chemistry between you, your parent, and the agent is crucial. Of course, chemistry can mean different things to different individuals. While it certainly is important that you have a friendly, professional connection with a real estate agent when it comes to selling the home of your mother or father, the chemistry between your parent and an agent is very important. 

In regard to chemistry between your parent and a real estate agent, an ideal real estate agent is relatable to your parent. In addition, it needs to be a person that your parent trusts implicitly. In addition, the agent needs to a person who is empathetic to the position of your parent who likely is moving from a cherished home into a new living environment that is fraught with uncertainties and perhaps no small amount of confusion.

Compassion and Understanding Are Key

On yet another intertwined note, a spoke a moment ago about getting an agent who is empathic to your parent’s situation – moving from what likely is a beloved home into an assisted living community. As a result, the need for compassion and understanding on the part of a real estate professional selected to sell your parent’s home is fundamental.

In order to best ensure the selection of a caring, compassionate, understanding real estate agent when it comes to selling your parent’s home in anticipation of moving to assisted living, you are well served finding a real estate professional with a background or at least some experience in working with other families in this type of situation. 

You are not likely to find a real estate agent that specializes in working with older people in the sale of their homes, although there are some professionals that do cater to older individuals in business in this day and age. If you can find such a professional, that would be ideal. However, as long as you do find a real estate agent who does work with people in their Golden Years on a regular basis, you will find that the interests and needs of your parent likely are better addressed.

Obtain Referrals

Odds are that you have friends or colleagues who have already been through the process of assisting a parent in a move into some sort of senior living setting. Odds are also strong that having been in that situation, they will have the names of real estate agents who were helpful in the process. They may also have the names of real estate professionals to avoid as well. Both avenues of information are helpful.

As you begin the process of looking for a real estate agent to retain for your parent’s home sale, obtain referrals from people you trust who have been in a similar situation. You can also make a complimentary list of real estate agents to avoid.

When seeking a real estate agent to assist your parent in the sale of a home in anticipation of a move to senior living, due diligence suggests that you interview three, perhaps four prospective agents. Any fewer and you might not get a decent enough selection of individuals to consider appropriately. A larger number can become overwhelming and not particularly productive.

Obtain Agent References

When you have narrowed the list of prospective agents down to a few, as part of the interview or review process, obtain references from each agent. Three references from each real estate professional likely is plenty.

You need to take the step of actually contacting the references. In many situations, people gather references and then fail to contact them. It is one thing to collect names of references but failing to contact them renders the information … useless.

Agent Support Team

Finally, in seeking out an ideal real estate agent for your aging parent heading to assisted living, find out what type of support team a particular real estate professional is a part of at this time. The stronger the support team, the more enhanced odds are that a selected real estate agent will be able to provide you and your parent a truly comprehensive range of professional services.

By following the recommendations contained in this article you place you and your parent in a far better position to select the most reliable, trustworthy, and effective real estate agent. You build the foundation for the selection of a truly appropriate real estate agent, a person fully capable of meeting the needs, goals, and objectives of your mother or father.