Antonio & Alexia's Blog


When the Family Home is Too Big For A Senior to Keep. When is The Right Time to Sell It?

Sooner or later, we will have to make a decision about selling the family home. Our next to last real estate move.! How do we know when is the right time? Where do we go and for what reasons? How much would that cost? Would you have enough money to last you? Would the family take care of you? What if there is... nobody? If there was ever a step that needed very careful evaluation, this is it!

As a Professional Realtor, I have seen first hand the successful moves of those who plan everything carefully, check every item on the list twice, and then execute their plan to perfection. I have also witnessed the nightmare of those who waited too long, and then reluctant family members or close friends are asked to come and help. The emotional and physical tool it takes to make the last real estate move of your life, is far greater than you think.

Time to sell the house?

The most typical choices available for seniors are: 1) Downsize and move to a smaller home in the same area. 2) Move in with relatives, in-laws, children, maybe friends. 3) Move into a retirement community with different degrees of medical care.  Whichever way you choose to go, you must plan your move carefully. Here is what you need to know, to help you get to your new destination.

  • Take your time. Start early enough so you can evaluate everything at your leisure. I would suggest at least a couple of years before the move. There is a lot of research to be done at this stage. You will also need time to get used to the idea, and to get ready emotionally.
  • Ask for help. Get family members involved if appropriate. Check with your doctor, particularly if you are moving far from your area, whether, finances, friends and family support are very important considerations.
  • Figure Out Your needs. If you are moving into a retirement home, find out what services are offered. Do you need care right now? are you expecting to require medical care in the future? Are those services being offered at that particular facility? Most Senior retirement communities offer a variety of levels of care, depending on each resident individual needs and desires.
  • Visit the places you are interested in. Ask questions, and prepared them in advance, so you don't forget the important ones. Take notes of everything you see and hear. Pay particular attention to the cost of living there and any potential increases.
  • Decide what to do with your personal possessions. Should you sell them? donate them? gift them to family members or outright sell them? What would you take with you? This process has a way of showing you what is important at this stage of your life.

Selling the family home for the last time, is always an emotional journey for which most people are not prepared. But with proper planning and good guidance you can make this important move easy, confident and produce a piece of mind that comes when all is settled and taken care of properly.

To help my senior clients here in California's Alameda county, in the city of San Leandro, where I live and work, I put together a team that is knowledgable, professional, and sensitive to the special needs of my senior clients. Before selling it, we dispose of the contents of the entire house.

I work with a Estate Auctioneer, a professional cleaning crew, a home inspection company, and a stagger, among others. Together we have done this process many times over the years. We know exactly what to do when the time comes. I also work with other Professional Realtors  around the country, who specialize in dealing with Seniors the same way we do here. I can refer you to one of them at no cost to you.

The Realtors In Motion       Antonio & Alexia Cardenas   

                  "The Realtors In Motion" 

         CRS, GRI, E-Pro Certified. SFR (Short Sales, Forclosure Resource) Serving the east shores of the San Francisco Bay, Alameda county: specially the following cities: Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward, Oakland, Pleasanton & Dublin.

                  Visit us on line at: or call (510) 326-4263

                     Call us, We'll come and TANGO with you!

Comment balloon 5 commentsAntonio & Alexia Cardenas • March 10 2010 08:09PM


Great post on the serious choices that seniors in particular need to consider when trying to consider whether to stay put or sell and purchase another home that more closely matches their needs.  I am a Authorized Leisure World Specialist representing seniors who are interested in buying or selling in Leisure World of Maryland, an active senior community located in Montgomery County, near Washington DC area.

Posted by Barbara Michaluk, Leisure World Specialist / Full Service REALTOR (Weichert Realtors | Silver Spring, MD Phone Direct 240-506-2434) about 10 years ago

Thank you for your visit Barbara, we do not hear about these situations much, but is such an important step. Families should talk about it openly, I know that nobody wants to think about getting old and having to go leave with strangers perhaps. But for some empty nesters, it is a reality.


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) about 10 years ago

For some they go away too soon and then regret it a lot -- wait until you know its time.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) about 10 years ago
That's a smart way of thiknnig about it.
Posted by Henny about 8 years ago
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Posted by pxwdrirqny about 8 years ago