Sunday, September 25, 2022

My mother is 92 and has lived in her house for 60 years. The time to move to assisted living is now. What can I do to help her?

S.C.S. Finding the right place for your mother to move is the primary decision to make. This will take time and a major life change can be difficult for many people at any age and especially difficult for a person in their nineties. Have patience.

You should also help your mother sort through her possessions. Your Realtor® can provide you names of movers who can help to label and pack prized possessions. Items not being taken/kept can be donated, given to thrift shops or given to friends and family. You should spend no more than 2 - 3 hours per day sorting through items to give away. The task can be daunting so don’t overwhelm yourself and your mother. As you box valuables in each room, close the door and you will have a sense of accomplishment. When the task is complete, your Realtor® can provide a market analysis for the house based upon comparable sales in the neighborhood and can also provide a marketing strategy. Remember that pretty sells, so the outside of the house should look as attractive, de-cluttered, and colorful as the inside of the house. By staging you will obtain a quicker sale at a greater price then by not doing so. Any investment in painting the front door or planting new shrubs and flowers will enhance the curb appeal and sale. The interior will look better with few possessions and the move will be easier and less stressful. Preparation is the key to a successful sale.

Ask the Realtor®: I have two well-trained dogs. What should I do with them when I put my house on the market?

S.C.S.: Many people are frightened of dogs, and it is a good idea to provide temporary housing for the dogs elsewhere or, at the very least, walk the dogs when the house is being shown. Even if your dogs love their crates, potential buyers can be distracted by a barking or even a friendly dog. Realtors® showing the house do not want to be responsible for the dogs.

Ask the Realtor®: When I converted my boiler from oil to gas, I left my oil tank in place and obtained all the necessary town permits. However, now that I am selling my house, my attorney suggested that I remove the tank because many buyers do not want to purchase with a buried oil tank. Is it necessary to remove the tank?

S.C.S.: Many attorneys and their clients are concerned that the abandoned oil tank may still be problematic and may have a possibility of oil residue leaking into the soil. To alleviate any anxiety on the part of the purchaser, it is suggested either to get an oil tank company to take soil samples from underneath the tank or to remove the tank completely.

Ask the Realtor®: I am about to list my house for sale and my friend who just sold her house told me to have a lock box. Should I?

S.C.S: Yes. That is an excellent idea especially for a vacant house or for owners who work during the day and are not available to open the door for showings.

A lock box is a small metal box encased in rubber that houses a key and is placed on the knob of the front door or railing. A Realtor® has a registered key card that transmits the agent’s contact info, the day and time of the showing. The listing Realtor® receives the info on a smart phone and can ask for feedback after the showing. This is a safe and efficient manner to gain access to show a house!..your friend is right.

Shirley Sosland is a Broker-Sales Associate with Russo Real Estate where she has worked since 1979. She has successfully sold real estate in Teaneck and the surrounding areas and is an Accredited Staging Professional. She has also earned the Broker Price Opinion Resource Certification, Accredited Buyer’s Representative Designation, and Green Certification. She has been honored with a twenty-five year lifetime membership in NJAR Distinguished Sales Club, has received numerous Circle of Excellence Awards, and is a former director of the Eastern Bergen County Board of Realtors. Shirley and her husband David, a former teacher/administrator for the Teaneck School System and the Frisch School, have lived in Teaneck since 1970 where they raised their two children. Professionally trained as a social worker, Shirley continues to enjoy assisting people in finding their new home.

Russo Real Estate is a family owned business that has been servicing the northern Bergen County area of New Jersey for over 40 years.

Please visit Russo Real Estate online at www.RussoRealEstate.com or call us directly at 201 837-8800. You can contact Shirley Sosland @ 201 394-5614 or [email protected]

By Shirley C. Sosland, Broker-Sales Associate


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