Your elderly mother, who still lives independently on her own, wants to sell her current home and move into a smaller place. Ever since dad died mom’s had trouble keeping up with the house and yardwork, and her health is on the decline. You want to help mom get her house ready so she receives what the property is really worth, but aren’t exactly sure how to do so. Selling an elderly parent’s home can be challenging and confusing. To help ensure that it goes more smoothly, use these tips from the pros.

Discuss Her Objectives

Before selling an elderly parent’s home, sit down with them and respectfully ask what their home-selling objectives are. Has she spoken to a realtor? What furnishings and belongings does mom want to keep, and how does she plan on getting rid of anything that’s no longer wanted? Does mom have a target date for placing her house on the market? Once you have answers to these questions, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and go to work.

Preparing the House for Sale

When it comes to selling an elderly parent’s home, it’s best to work with a professional realtor who’s familiar with the local area and housing market. They will look at the inside and outside of the home, and then recommend improvements to make it more appealing to potential buyers. After finding a good realtor, use these additional preparation steps to get your mom’s home ready for sale:

Check the Appliances

Nobody wants to buy a house with a broken dishwasher or stove. Try out all the appliances to ensure they are in good working order. If not, have them repaired before listing the house. Don’t forget to have the furnace and A/C checked by a pro because any problems will show up when a potential buyer has it inspected.

Destroy Old Papers

Most older people have boxes of old papers, like tax returns and bank statements, they haven’t needed for decades. However, many contain sensitive personal identification and bank account numbers, so go through mom’s and shred or burn anything that’s no longer important. But when doing so, take care in not destroying any documents that she will still need.

Rent a Dumpster

If mom’s like most seniors, she has a basement, garage, attic and closets chocked full of unused items. With her permission, rent a dumpster and toss any unwanted ones, including clothes, furniture, expired canned goods and knick-knacks. Check all the pockets in her old coats to make sure there’s no money or other valuables. You can also have a yard sale to sell some of the items, donate them to charity, or divide them amongst you and your siblings.

Clean the Inside of the House

With the help of your family members, give mom’s home a thorough cleaning from top to bottom. Make sure that you scrub the tub and toilets, wash the floors, have the carpets professionally cleaned, eliminate unpleasant odors (especially if there’s a pet), and clean the kitchen until it’s spotless. Don’t forget to clean the window coverings too.

Tidy Up the Yard

A good realtor will tell you that a tidy yard leaves a good first impression with potential buyers. Make sure the yard is cut and weed-free, the bushes and trees are nicely trimmed, and even plant some annuals in the flower beds to add some color.

Give It a Fresh Coat of Paint

Another home-selling secret is to giv