Stephan Baldwin is the Director of Business Development for Assisted Living Center, an online resource for senior living articles, communities, and guides.
It is never easy to move your parents out of a home they have enjoyed for decades. However, if you are a caregiver and know that your parents need more help than you can provide in their home, it is usually the right decision to make.
With this checklist, you will know what you need to do in order to sort through their possessions, downsize, and get the home cleaned properly so it's ready to be put on the market.
1. Remove Possessions from the Home
This first step can be the most difficult, for caregivers as well as those who are about to leave their homes. There are so many memories tied to the home and the items in it. Caregivers must strike a good balance between encouraging their parents to downsize their possessions, and respecting their boundaries.
Cleaning and packing are important first steps.
Allow your family members the time they need to make decisions about what they want to keep. Offer to help sort through things they do not need or care about as much. At the end, aim to have a home that is completely clear and ready for cleaning and repair.
2. Make Minor Repairs
With all the furniture, clothing and other items out of the home, you can start looking at the space from a buyer's standpoint. You can likely perform much of this on your own, before you hire a realtor or property management company. Do a visual inspection of the interior and exterior, looking for:
- chipped or peeling paint
- fixtures in need of repair or replacement
- flooring condition
- and other concerns buyers will likely point out
Create a plan to fix these problems so you can move on to the more complicated parts of home preparation.
3. Inspect Home Equipment
Hire an appraiser who can point out any issues with the home's structure and equipment. This will force you to fix them quickly, before you can list the home. Be proactive and look for problems to solve beforehand. If your parents have not been using much of the home's equipment for the past few years, now is your chance to test it out and make sure it works properly. This includes all appliances, from the washer and dryer to the air conditioner and furnace. Make a note of which machines need repair or service.
4. Hire Professional Cleaning Services
No matter how much work you put into cleaning a home, it is likely that you'll need a professional cleaning service. This is especially important for areas that are hard to reach or that require special equipment to access and maintain, like the attic, crawlspace or air ducts.
Making sure the air ducts are clean and working well can help you avoid surprise delays in selling the home.
Arrange for a thorough examination and crawl space cleaning or air duct cleaning as needed. This is also a good time to request inspection of the home's insulation, to confirm that it is in good condition and of adequate thickness for the climate.
When people start to prepare a home for sale, they often forget to clean the areas they cannot see. Don't miss an opportunity to minimize hassle during the cleaning process by hiring a company that specializes in these services.
If you follow the above steps, you can minimize the hassle and frustrations that come with preparing a home for sale.
Have a parent or loved one that is moving in with you or to a senior living community? Request a quote for cleaning out the home's crawl spaces.