It can take awhile for a senior to make the decision to sell their home, but once they decide to move forward, they just sign the listing agreement, right? Not necessarily.
A major life-changing event like this is often greatly influenced and even controlled by family members, health professionals or trustees.
Key Conversations
Respecting the rights of the homeowner are first and foremost when talking with a senior. We start with the premise that they are in control of the decision to sell. It’s also vital to know the motivating factors and who else is involved in this senior’s transition out of their home.
Family Dynamics
Carefully explore the family dynamics by including the following in your conversation: (see our previous post for more tips)…o-make-it-easier/ ‎
  1. What factors influenced their decision to make this move?
  2. Make sure they have all the help and resources they need by asking who is helping them with this transition.
  3. Have them tell you as much as possible about their family. How physically and socially active are they? Who is their primary support? Where do their family members live? If family members are with them, get everyone’s input on next steps.
  4. Ask for the contact information of their family members, assuring them that they will not contact them without the homeowner’s permission.
  5. Gently explore the health status of the senior if that is a factor in their decision to sell their home. Physicians can greatly influence the decision to move of they feel the home is no longer safe for their patient.
Know Who is Legally Responsible
The senior homeowner may or not recall that they have placed their home in a trust. They may or may not recall that they signed over Power of Attorney to one of their children. When it comes to legal documents, they may not know where the paperwork is to provide written legal status. It’s important to clarify the legal property rights so you know who should truly be signing the listing agreement.
A little extra research can help avoid a messy situation:
  • Check with your title company
  • Ask the homeowner
  • Check the county recorder of deeds
  • Ask family members
  • Seek the advice of an estate attorney
If someone other than the homeowner has a POA, it’s important to know which type. When transferring property, most states require a certain type of Power of Attorney. Here’s a link to an article that explains the 4 different types of POA and how they are used.
Guiding your clients and their families through this huge life transition is what being a Trusted Advisor is all about!
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