elders real estate and when it's time to sell

Elders Real Estate {and deciding when to sell}

The time often comes when single or married seniors’ along with their families will have to make a decision about what to do with the family home. Should they age in place, sell the home and downsize, or leave the home to their kids. Every situation is different and a lot depends on the status of a senior’s finances. Elders Real Estate and deciding when to sell is a decision that should be well-thought-out before making a commitment one way of the other.

There’s so much more involved besides the act of actually selling and buying. Often seniors’ have never had to deal with real estate issues for many years. There is a very good chance of making serious mistakes when it comes to deciding what to do with the family home.

elders real estate and when it's time to sell
Selling the family home can be a challenging experience for seniors.

For this reason, it’s important to find a real estate agent who is accredited and well-versed in dealing with seniors in particular.

It’s not just the process of selling the home, but what happens after is actually the more critical question. This is where a knowledgeable agent can make the difference.


This is an important question as there are many reasons for seniors’ to make the decision to sell the family home. There are several main reasons that might prompt elders to sell their home.

Making the Choice To Sell

  • They decide on their own that they no longer want to deal with living in a home that is simply too large for them.
  • The thought of banking all the equity they have accrued over the years prompts them to consider downsizing and banking the equity that is left for their golden years.
  • It makes more sense to sell and move in with their children in some sort of home-sharing arrangement.
  • The equity from selling the home can help fund a move into an independent living retirement facility.

Selling Because You Have To

elders real estate and when it's time to sell
There are many reasons why elders have to sell their homes.
  • It’s no longer safe to live in a large home, especially seniors’ on their own. This is especially true if they suffer from poor eyesight or mobility issues. Often there are stairs to climb and cluttered spaces that become dangerous for seniors’.
  • Health issues make it difficult to maintain a large home, and a condo or apartment seems more appealing.
  • Managing the costs of maintaining the family home has become a financial hardship.
  • Everyday tasks like cleaning and cooking have become difficult.


Often seniors and their caregivers will reach the point where their best option is to decide on what sort of care facility would be best. For a host of reasons, simply downsizing to a smaller home is still not the answer. This is especially true if some sort of nursing care is required that is beyond the scope of caregivers.

When elder people sell their homes and opt for moving into a retirement setting, the next step is deciding what their best option is.

  • They can downsize to a smaller home and opt for private home health care.
  • Depending on a senior’s ability to care for themselves, they might choose an independent living community. This way they have their own apartment unit with the advantage of access to health care if needed and social activities.
  • Possible there are medical issues that will prompt a move into a senior assisted living program. They live on their own but might require help with everyday tasks like cleaning, cooking, and transportation.
  • Another option is choosing a facility that includes full-time nursing care.
  • Often, seniors suffer from memory loss due to dementia and require specialized care.



There are movers who are more experienced when it comes to moving elders. They know how to deal with all the material items seniors’ can accumulate after decades of living in the same home. Seniors have to decide what they want to sell, what to keep, what to dispose of, and what to give to family members.

Relocation specialists can be instrumental in helping seniors make the biggest move of their lives. There is a lot involved with making the transition out of the family home.

elders real estate and when it's time to sell
Just the everyday act of climbing stairs can become challenging for seniors.

It’s important to have someone on board who can aid in assessing the value of the personal property, and the best way to deal with it. There is more to it than the property itself. There could be automobiles, valuables, family heirlooms, or antiques to make decisions on.

Some family homes have accumulated large amounts of equity and it’s vitally important to have some sort of financial management assistance and accounting to ensure funds are properly allocated. There are also federal taxes to consider.

Often seniors’ have no idea what sort of retirement facility is best for them and that’s where expert help can make a big difference in making the transition for a family home to a retirement facility of some type.


Although seniors face a situation that will most likely only happen once in their lifetime, there are experts who deal with these types of situations on a regular basis.

Over time, these specialists have become experts in many aspects of seniors’ transitioning out of the family home.

  • They can deal with your real estate needs
  • There is an understanding of medical issues elders are dealing with. This includes falls, strokes, dementia, and a host of other conditions that have an impact on the decision to make the move.
  • Often seniors get stressed and feel they have to rush, and experts can help ease the situation in a calm, orderly manner.
  • Any situation that arises can easily be dealt with by experts who are used to the issues seniors’ have to deal with.

There are many types of real estate agents. The last thing a senior should to when selling their home is to hire an agent who works mostly with younger clients and is not fully aware of the different issues that seniors’ have to live with.

Chances are, they will treat you much as they would a younger client who operate at different speeds and think far differently when it comes to elders real estate and deciding when to sell.

Seniors might consider dealing with one of the many Senior Real Estate Specialists available to them.

The U.S.A. Seniors might need access to an Affordable Real Estate Purchase Agreement.

Canadian seniors’ version of the same Affordable Real Estate Purchase Agreement

Would you like to share your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hi There!

    This is a great article for seniors and loved ones but also a great article for the people who will one day be seniors (everyone we hope.) Preparation especially when it comes to moving homes and changing life styles should be as easy as possible for seniors as there is always so many factors to take into consideration and the least stress endured will be the best possible outcome. 

    Understanding real estate jargon can be difficult and I appreciate all the points you made in your article because your good intent is very clear!

    Thank you! 

    1. Thank you for your comment Jade. I agree, that one day most of us will have to make that decision when it comes to changing our lifestyle completely. Some seniors who are fit and healthy will choose to go into independent living retirement centers instead of downsizing to another home in the market-place.

  2. You certainly made me think of the possibility of using a home’s equity to purchase long term care for the latter years. The cost of living increases and the need for senior care will be very large expenses that will require a large sum of money. Certainly the sale of a home could accomplish this. My father-in-law is talking about swapping houses with me so this consideration will need to be part of the conversation.

    1. Thank you for your comment Lee.  Yes, there will be a lot of decisions for seniors to make once the time comes to decide what to do with their home.

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