Toss It Tuesday – Downsizing with Estate Sales – Part One

estate sale shopping cart signDid you know that most estate sales occur when the homeowner is downsizing?

In this two-part series, you will learn the important things to know when considering using an estate company to conduct your downsizing sale.

What do these companies do for me? Estate sale companies evaluate and set up your items to sell, price them accordingly, monitor the sales and the flow of traffic, and provide security and extra personnel to deter theft during the sale. They will arrange for appropriate permits and advertise your sale in advance, to ensure a high flow of traffic.

What goes and what stays? Estate sale companies will ask you to leave everything you want sold in the estate sale exactly where it is, allowing you to focus on packing and removing just the items you want and need – no sorting, organizing or arranging items you no longer want. For instance, simply leave that 45-piece china set in the cabinet and the estate sale company will clean it and ensure it’s attractively displayed. Lastly, estate sale companies also recommend that you do not discard any items – allow them to be the judge of what should be thrown away, taking the guesswork out of the equation for you.

How are my belongings priced? Estate sale companies are experienced in pricing items based on current market value. Although to you, your great grandmother’s old and tarnished teapot may appear worthless, an expert might recognize its real market value. These companies’ personnel are often trained in antiques and appraisals – their expertise in pricing your belongings at appropriate market value will help you maximize the results of your sale or auction.

Why not just have a garage sale? You can request the estate sale company set a “reserve” on any item. If it does not sell for the minimum amount you set, you can keep it instead of selling it for less.

Next Toss It Tuesday – Downsizing with Estate Sales – Part Two

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: Questions to Ask Aging Parents When Planning a Move – Part Three

Helping your aging parents simplify their lives includes a plan for preparing for a physical move.

In Part One of this four-part series, published on this blog every Monday, we started a list of questions to ask your parents concerning their current lifestyle…and how they see it changing in the future.

In Part Two, we discussed the questions to ask that can help determine where your parents stand financially.

In Part Three, here are the questions to ask when planning your parents’ move to a new location:

1. WHAT TO DO WITH POSSESSIONS: Which items do they want to keep and take with them, give to family and friends, liquidate or store?

2. MOVE ASSISTANCE: Who will assist your parents with the details of the move? List professionals, family and friends.

3. TIMING: What date or time of the year would your parents prefer to make the move?

4. PREPARATION: What will your parents need to do to prepare their house for sale?

5. EXPERIENCE: What can your parents learn from other people who have been through this type of downsizing move?

6. MEDICAL: Will your parents need to consult with their physicians regarding health care needs as they move?

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: Questions to Ask Aging Parents When Planning a Move – Part Two

Helping your aging parents simplify their lives includes establishing where they stand financially.

Finances are a key component when planning a parental move, affecting how and where your parents will live. Managing your parents’ finances are not like managing your own, especially if you don’t have all the information you need.

Again, it all starts with a plan.

In Part One of this four-part series, published on this blog every Monday, we started a list of questions to ask your parents concerning their current lifestyle…and how they see it changing in the future.

In Part Two, here are questions to ask that can help determine where your parents stand financially:

1. MONTHLY INCOME: What is your parents’ monthly income today? Is it expected to change in the future? If so, what will be the difference in monthly income?

2. SAVINGS AND INVESTMENTS: Determine how much your parents have in savings and through investments. What investments do they have? Where are those investments held? Who are the contacts for the investments? How are these investments titled (joint accounts, individual, etc.)? Is there a financial adviser in the picture? Also ask about IRAs (individual retirement accounts), credit union accounts, bank accounts and insurance policies.

3. HOME EQUITY: How much equity can your parents expect to receive from the sale of their home?

4. ESTATE SALE: How much can your parents expect to earn from an estate sale?

5. MONTHLY EXPENSES: What are your parents’ monthly/annual expenses? How will these expenses change when your parents sell their home?

6. MOVING EXPENSES: Will any family members be contributing to your parents’ moving and/or living expenses? If so, who will be participating? How much will each person be contributing? Will these contributions be one-time payments or payments that continue on a monthly basis?

7. OTHER BENEFITS: What types of benefits do your parents have that can offset their housing expense? Is either parent a military veteran?

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – Tips for Getting Rid of All That Stuff You Don’t Need

Simplifying your aging parents’ life can be complicated and stressful…especially when downsizing their belongings before a move to a more manageable living space.

TIP: When in Doubt…Sort It Out!

Use these categories to sort your parents’ belongings:

1) Necessities – What are the most commonly used items in your parents’ everyday living? Furniture, personal toiletry items, kitchen and eating utensils, clothing, and more. You want to make sure these items are moved to your parents’ new location.

2) Family Heirlooms – Jewelry, furniture, china and more.

3) Sentimental Items or Keepsakes – Gifts, photos, souvenirs

4) Disposables – so sentimental value and not useful at new location

5) Charitable Contributions – unwanted musical instruments, craft supplies, books

6) Trash – all items that can be thrown out

7) Valuables – items that can be sold

PROCESS: Use three different colors of Post-It notes to classify the items in Categories 1 (Necessities), 2 (Family Heirlooms) & 3 (Sentimental Items) that will go with your parents to their new location. This will make it easier for you to figure out what needs to go where as you sort through your parents’ possessions.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: Questions to Ask Aging Parents When Planning a Move – Part One

Helping your aging parents simplify their lives can feel daunting and stressful.

While adult children may have their parents’ best interests at heart and think they have all the answers, they don’t always know what’s best for their parents. One of the biggest mistakes? Waiting until a crisis occurs to have the conversation about housing and care options is the number one mistake we see in most families.

So, how does one help Mom and Dad go about selling a home they’ve lived in for decades and one that is full of a life’s worth of ‘stuff!?’

It all starts with a plan.

In Part One of this four-part series, published on this blog every Monday, here is a list of questions to ask your parents concerning their current lifestyle…and how they see it changing in the future.

1. HEALTH CARE OR NUTRITION: Are you tired of planning and cooking dinners every night? How would you describe your diet? Do you need assistance with grocery shopping and food preparation? How would you describe how you feel physically and emotionally? How many doctor appointments do you have scheduled per month? Will that change in the future?

2. TRANSPORTATION: Are you still driving? What are the options in your area if you need to stop driving at some point? Do you drive yourself to your doctor appointments now? Do you find yourself depending on rides from family/friends more these days? Do you ever use public transportation? Will you depend more on public transportation in the future?

3. LIVING INDEPENDENTLY: How long do you think you can live independently? What household tasks seem more difficult to accomplish now? What household tasks (lawn care, housekeeping, etc.) can you still handle? Which tasks do you need help with? Do you know who is available — volunteer or professional — to give you assistance?

4. CURRENT LOCATION: Do you want to stay close to your current neighborhood or move to another area? How important is it to you to have your family nearby? Will that change in the future?

5. FAMILY: How involved are your children and other close family members in your every day life? If so, how would you want that to change, if at all?

6. FRIENDS: Who do you consider your close friends? Do they live nearby? Will that change in the future?

7. TYPES OF ACTIVITIES: What activities do you participate in now? How important is it to you that you continue to participate in these activities?

8. LIVING SITUATION: If you were to move out of your current home, what type of living situation would appeal to you? An apartment? Senior living community? A smaller private residence? Could you rent or do you need to own?

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

7 Things That Can Delay Close of Escrow

The May real estate market is fast and furious with most listings receiving multiple offers. Anyone can sell a home, right? Then why is it that I recently read 25% of all transactions fall apart before closing escrow?

Consider what happens when a transaction gets a bit, well…complicated. In my experience, most real estate transactions are anything but “normal.”

Here are 7 reasons I see most often that can cause an escrow to be delayed or not close at all:

1) The buyer discovers major issues with the home via inspections that either need to be repaired or credited for repairs to be done at a later date.

2) Buyers request repairs, and sellers in turn can agree to all, some or none of the requested items. When an agreement is made that seller will complete repairs and they aren’t done correctly or on time, this also delays closing.

3) The home can’t be insured, perhaps due to a safety issue, like knob and tube electrical wiring, leaving the buyer high and dry and not able to close until insurance can be secured.

4) The appraisal comes in below the offered purchase price. If the buyer can’t come up with the funds to close, and the seller won’t’ agree to sell their home for less than the offered amount.

5) Incorrect information on the loan documents or the final settlement statement.

6) Title issues can appear, including such things as liens filed by unpaid contractors. This must be rectified before the transaction can be closed.

7) Final walk through or ‘verification of property’ is another sticking point that can occur if buyer finds something different from the last time they saw the property or junk has been left inside or in the yard. The closing can again be delayed.

You owe it to yourself to hire a seasoned real estate professional who will manage your risk, successfully negotiate on your behalf, effectively communicate to all parties on a consistent basis and who takes their fiduciary responsibilities very seriously.

SEMINAR May 3: Selling Your Home in Today’s Market

FREE SEMINAR: Selling You Home in Today’s Market

Get the facts about what is involved in selling a home in today’s market and the Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid! Whether you are planning to sell this month or not for a few years, do your homework now and be prepared!

REGISTER: By phone 925-788-6582 or online http://savvyseniorsliving.com/schedule/

Join us for additional candid conversations with local experts focused on the unique and complex housing-related issues facing California’s mature homeowners & families.

June 7th: Tax, Legal & Financial Issues
July 12th: Reverse Mortgages-Truth vs. Myth
August 2nd: Aging in Place
September 6th: Assisted Living Options
October 4th: Downsizing Lessons
November 1st: Rightsizing 101
December 6th: Storytelling-Legacy

FREE SEMINAR: March 1st: Independent Living Options

REGISTER NOW FOR THIS FREE SEMINAR: The “Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series” presents “Independent Living Options” on March 1st.

Learn what independent living is and isn’t…and what people can expect when moving to an independent living community. You get to ask ANY question you have on your mind and we will answer it to the best of our ability.

We realize that as you are making choices about where to live in future years, being educated and informed is key. You’ll leave with answers to the following questions, including:

  • Where do I begin looking for independent living options?
  • What do independent living communities offer me as a senior?
  • What will it cost to live in an independent living community?
  • Are there independent options for purchase? For lease? What are they?

Admission is free. Location: Lafayette Library Arts & Sciences Discovery Center, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette. Time: 10 AM – 11:30 AM. Please call 925-788-6582 to register or sign up online at http://savvyseniorsliving.com/schedule/. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

55+ Senior Living Options

Ad for 55+ Senior Living OptionsREGISTER NOW FOR THIS FREE SEMINAR: The “Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series” debuts on Wednesday, February 1, with “55+ Senior Living Options”. You will learn the facts about the many types of retirement communities available in the East Bay area and the questions you should be asking when considering your options. This is the perfect place to educate yourself so that you can make the right decisions for you and your family.  Admission is free. Location: Lafayette Library Arts & Sciences Discovery Center, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette. Seminar start at 10 AM. Please call 925-788-6582 to register or sign up online at http://savvyseniorsliving.com. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

“Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series” to Educate and Empower East Bay Senior Homeowners

Savvy Seniors Living Seminar SeriesThe facts. It’s what East Bay homeowners want concerning late-in-life housing issues like reverse mortgages, 55+ senior living options, selling a house in today’s market, and preparing to “stay put” in your own home as you age-in-place.

These topics, along with others, will be presented in the upcoming Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series as 90-minute monthly educational seminars beginning in February at the Lafayette Library Arts & Sciences Discovery Center, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette.

Adults 55+, seniors, and caregivers are invited to attend the free Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series to learn the actual facts about issues related to home ownership and post-retirement downsizing in the S.F. Bay area.

This series of candid conversations and expert panel discussions about the unique and often complex issues facing long-time homeowners is to be moderated by Dayna Wilson, Seniors Real Estate Specialist® [SRES]® of Keller Williams Real Estate-East Bay, who has a team that provides comprehensive “senior friendly” transition services related to downsizing, late-life relocation, and (55+) senior living solutions.

“Emotions get in the way, and fear often sets in,” said Wilson. “Seniors often have to deal with the prospect of leaving the family home, of losing their independence, and sorting through all the stuff they’ve accumulated over the course of their lifetimes. This is where our expertise and experience in dealing with these types of moves comes in.”

Increasing numbers of 55+ active adults in the East Bay and beyond have many questions. “Many seniors have no idea what is available to them, how much it will cost, or the process for making all the pieces fit together,” Wilson continued. “We want to give them helpful information, introduce them to trusted local resources, and answer their questions. Beyond helping with immediate needs, our intention is give individuals and families both direction and confidence so they feel empowered when the time comes to make a major life decision.”

The Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series debuts with “55+ Senior Living Options” on February 1 at 10 AM. “You will learn the facts about the many types of retirement communities available in the area and the questions you should be asking when considering your options. This is the perfect place to educate yourself so that you can make the right decisions for you and your family,” said Wilson.

Additional seminars include:

February 1: 55+ Senior Living Options
March 1: Independent Living Options
April 12: Estate Liquidation Strategies
May 3: Selling Your Home in Today’s Market
June 7: Tax, Legal & Financial Issues
July 12: Reverse Mortgages -Truth vs. Myth
August 2: Aging in Place (a.k.a. ‘Staying Put’)
September 6: Assisted Living Options
October 4: Downsizing Lessons from People (Just Like You) Who Know
November 1: Rightsizing 101 – Professional Panel
December 6: Storytelling – Legacy

The seminars are open to all individuals who want to learn the facts about local senior living options from some of the most knowledgeable and experienced professionals in the senior living industry. Admission is free. All seminars start at 10 AM. Please call 925-788-6582 to register or sign up online at http://savvyseniorsliving.com. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

More about the host and moderator: Dayna Wilson has been serving clients in the East Bay communities of Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Clayton and Martinez and beyond since 2009. As a certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist® Dayna helps Boomers, Zoomers and Savvy Seniors explore housing options, ensuring that their next home best serves their current and future needs.