April 1, 2022

Downsizing 101: 5 ways to help your parents sell their house

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Kelsi Cumberland

Downsizing 101: 5 ways to help your parents sell their house

1. Talk it out ahead of time

  • Discussing the possibility of downsizing months before it becomes time to make a move is important. It is not an easy decision to leave their current home. 
  • Approach the conversation with compassion and understanding, but don’t be surprised if there is some pushback. 

2. Set realistic goals for downsizing

  • Make a plan to start organizing one room at a time, rather than the whole house in one weekend. Sorting through decades worth of accumulated belongings can take time, so set goals now!

3. Frame downsizing as an adventure you’ll take together

  • Assist with the process and frame downsizing as an opportunity to go down “memory lane” instead of viewing it as a list of tasks that needs done. 
  • Allow them grace and deference to share their findings with you. You’ll likely both be glad that you took that time to share and listen. 

4. Hire a real estate agent that understands seniors

  • When the time comes to list the house, do your research and interview different Realtors. Find out what kind of experience they have working with downsizing seniors. Someone who is compassionate and provides patience with the process is important.

5. Help them make their new home comfortable

  • After the move is over, it’s your job to help them make their new home as welcoming as possible. Help them unpack and hang pictures. Make it feel "homey".
  • Make moving to a new environment something to celebrate. Bring a bottle of bubbly and a couple glasses. Toast to their new beginnings and ongoing happiness. 

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