A woman helps an elderly couple with paperwork on selling a house

How to Sell Your House Before Moving into Senior Living

Smart Tips for How to Sell Your House 

Selling a house can seem like a monumental undertaking, and it’s easy to come up with reasons to put it off. But unburdening yourself from the responsibilities of home maintenance and yardwork can free you to spend more time with people you love and pursue your passions. To help you successfully take on this task, here’s a guide for how to prepare to sell your house that breaks down each phase of the process.


The first step of preparing to sell your house is of course emotional preparation. This house may be deeply nostalgic for you, and this could be a great opportunity to honor and celebrate all the wonderful times you’ve had in this space. 

When you’re ready, start thinking about going through your belongings, deciding what to throw away, what to donate or hand down, and what to keep. This is a large undertaking but leads to a lot of satisfaction. You may find it helpful to take several passes through your keep pile and whittle it down further each time.

Refinish hardwood floors and schedule any necessary repairs. Some imperfections can worry potential buyers. When deciding what updates and repairs to make, consider whether or not they will earn a good return on investment. Smart areas to focus your upgrading efforts on are the roof, windows, the front door and landscaping. With thoughtful selections, these changes can result in greater profit from your sale.

Engage an experienced real estate agent with knowledge of your area. They can help you decide what updates will make your house competitive and desirable for the neighborhood. You might think you can handle selling a house without an agent, but the right agent will more than earn back their fees and can save you time and hassle.


There are many considerations when trying to make your house appealing to buyers. Your ultimate goal is to make it as easy as possible for new people to imagine themselves in the house. Paint all the walls the same neutral color and remove family photos and personalized finishings. Give buyers a blank slate for their imaginations.

Then you want to set about emphasizing the house’s attributes. Remove any heavy drapes that might be blocking out natural light. Make the space feel as happy and airy as possible. Create space in closets to make them appear bigger. Aim for at least one-third of the space to be empty. Set up bathrooms like a spa with flowers and nicely rolled towels.


Once your house is staged, hire a professional to take photos. In today’s market, the first experience buyers will have of a house will likely be online. The pictures are the first viewing. While you’re considering the house’s curb appeal, also think critically about its web appeal. Quality photos from an experienced real estate photographer will be a smart investment. They’ll help potential buyers focus on the house’s best features.


Your real estate agent can help you set a realistic price for the house without over- or underpricing. That way you won’t leave money on the table or alienate potential buyers by pricing yourself out of their budgets.

While people are touring, make sure there are no signs or smells(!) of any pets and make yourself scarce. Let buyers imagine themselves in the space.


If you stand to make a significant profit on the sale of a house, you may want to consider hiring a real estate attorney to make sure you keep as much of that money as possible. Single people selling a house should not have to pay capital gains tax on any profit up to $250,000. Married couples avoid capital gains tax on profits up to $500,000. 

During your preparation, staging and selling processes, keep track of your expenses. Many of the expenses that go into selling the house can be deducted from your reported profit and could save you from having to pay extra taxes. Your real estate attorney can guide you through your specific sale according to your state’s regulations.

When analyzing your individual taxes on selling a house, here are some of the important documents you’ll need to have on hand:

  •     Official report of your mortgage balance
  •     Documentation of any liens or judgments against the property
  •     Tax reports
  •     Encroachments
  •     Trust documents


Here’s the best part about moving to a community: Once you’ve gone through the process of selling a house, you won’t ever have to do it again. And you’ve saved future generations the hassle of having to do it for you. Now you’ve given yourself the opportunity to enjoy fewer responsibilities and more opportunities. 

If you’re taking this opportunity to also decide when to move to a senior living community, consider the new opportunities that will open up to reinvest your equity. Ownership within a LifeCare® community like The Heritage at Brentwood® can protect your investment and give you priority access to higher levels of health care with minimal change to your monthly costs. The Heritage at Brentwood would be happy to answer any questions you have about the benefits of senior independent living and all the assistance new residents receive from the community’s dedicated move-in coordinator. Just fill out the contact form for further information.