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Selling your house when you are an elderly person:what precautions?

With advancing age, many people want to sell their house either to buy another one better suited to their state of health, to obtain additional income and improve their daily lives, or because they have to go live in an establishment. specialized for the elderly. If the terms of the sale of a house are the same whether you are young or old, a senior must nevertheless take precautions, on the one hand not to be fooled by a seller in bad faith, to opt for the right form of sale. On the other hand, relatives can in certain situations put specific measures in place so that this sale goes as well as possible.

Why decide to sell your house when you are old?

There are a number of reasons why a senior might want to sell their home. First, and most often, is the issue of health status that comes into play.

Housing may no longer be suitable for problems affecting older people. A slight loss of autonomy can prevent, for example, climbing stairs safely when living in a house with several floors. Simple small steps between the different rooms of a dwelling can also make it difficult to move when a senior needs a cane or a walker in particular, and much more when his movements must be done in a wheelchair.

A house also often becomes too big when you get older and its maintenance becomes too difficult and restrictive for an elderly person. In this case, the latter may wish to sell their home to turn to the purchase of another more suitable in terms of space, accessibility or security.

Geographical isolation can also be a reason to sell their house for an elderly person who wishes to be closer to a city center and its public services, merchants, health professionals, etc.

Financial issues may compel an older person to sell their home. Unless you have planned well in advance to obtain additional income once you retire or, for example, to have comfortable savings built up throughout your life, the standard of living of seniors is the more often scaled down from what they had when they were active. Selling your house when you are old can therefore be a way of recovering capital that allows you to better see the future from a financial point of view, but also to escape the payment of charges that can be heavy.

Finally, a significant loss of autonomy, but also the desire not to remain isolated, can have the consequence of pushing seniors to sell their house to enter a specialized establishment such as a traditional retirement home or an accommodation establishment. for dependent elderly people (Ehpad) for example.

How to sell your house when you are old? What precautions should be taken?

Basically, selling your house when you are old is not very different than for younger owners. Particularly in terms of procedures that remain the same:estimate your property, publish advertisements or call on real estate sales specialists for this purpose, be available to organize visits to your house for potential buyers, etc. The steps before a notary are also similar (signature of a sales agreement then a final deed).

But, with age, all these formalities are often much heavier to take care of. This is why it is important to get help when you want to sell your house. The support and backing of their children, grandchildren, relatives, etc., can be of great support for an elderly person.

Using a real estate professional is also a good solution for a senior who wants to sell his house and relieve himself of complicated administrative procedures. It is also a guarantee to take all the precautions so that this sale goes as well as possible, and in compliance with the regulations in force in the matter.

A solution often offered to the elderly:life annuity sale

The life annuity sale is often offered to seniors who wish to sell their house. This is a procedure that consists of selling his home to a person who pays what is called a life annuity, which can be monthly, quarterly or annual, to the seller and this, until the death of this last, rather than the full price of the property at the time of sale.

There are 2 types of life annuity sales:the free life annuity (the buyer can freely occupy or rent the house thus acquired) or the occupied life annuity (the seller keeps the usufruct, he can continue to live in his house or rent it) . A good solution especially for the elderly who wish to continue living in their home despite its sale or those who wish to benefit from a regular income until their death.

Please note that the sale of a life annuity can only be carried out by persons who are “legally capable”, that is to say who have the ability to have rights and obligations and to exercise them themselves. In addition, the death of the elderly person who sells his house in life must be "unpredictable":the buyer does not have the right to know if the seller is suffering from an illness at the time of the sale.

On the other hand, within the framework of a free life annuity, the current maintenance and all the repairs of the house are the responsibility of the buyer, otherwise, either these expenses are divided between the seller and the buyer, or the elderly person who sells takes care of them, except for major repairs.

Special precautions for vulnerable elderly people

A so-called "vulnerable" elderly person, that is to say weakened by age, suffering from an illness or a handicap, may have the option of selling their house on their own, or not, depending on their degree of vulnerability.

For the most vulnerable seniors, protective measures can be put in place, such as legal safeguards, family empowerment, curatorship, or even guardianship, which in particular make it possible to protect their heritage, including their home. they are the owners, and not to be cheated at the time of its sale.

These measures can also facilitate donations or bequests to the heirs of the vulnerable elderly person who can thus protect them, for example, from the sale of their house in non-compliant conditions. In these cases, the elderly may have the possibility of keeping the usufruct of their house, that is to say, continuing to occupy it or renting it out to earn income and improve their daily lives.