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How to Help your Parents Downsize - Richmond, VA

- Monday, September 28, 2015

To ease the strain of your parents' transition, offspring of downsizers should step in with assistance as early as possible, especially if a sudden health setback is prompting the move.

With the oldest baby boomers now approaching their 70s, demographers say the number of homeowners who are downsizing and moving to assisted living is expected to climb in coming years.

So many home sales now involved downsizing boomers.

Davis, the author of "A Survival Guide to Selling a Home," tells the true story of one of his clients, a widow of 69 who, due to medical problems, must sell her 3,500-square-foot house on one-third of an acre. The widow and her family plan to work off a checklist of presale tasks provided by Davis.

To ease the strain of their parents' transition, he urges the offspring of downsizers to step in with assistance as early as possible, especially if a sudden health setback is prompting the move.

A short deadline compounds the problems of getting the house sold. Clients should tackle the matter as soon as their elders want or need help.

It is recommended that sellers line up appointments with three potential listing agents as soon as a move is planned. Select a kindhearted agent who provides personal attention to clients.

Here are a few pointers for the adult children of downsizing elders:

Honor your parents' deep attachment to their home.

Some couples, including those with a history of corporate transfers or military postings, find it relatively easy to ready a home for sale. But those who've stayed put through their retirement years typically have a tougher time letting go of their belongings.

''If your parents have been accumulating possessions for decades, you can't expect them to dispense with all that stuff in a hurry. Remember they want to make their own decisions for as long as they possibly can," Davis said.

While a senior's family members can be very helpful with many aspects of the housing transition, Davis said it's unwise for them to become involved in the decluttering work itself.

Ideally, he recommends that the parents engage the help of a professional organizer, assuming they can afford it.

For more information, contact Spring Arbor.

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