Mom's house needs to be sold in order to keep her in a private pay NH. Can I sell it?

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I'm her POA. Her money is running low and we need to supplement social security to help pay for her private pay nursing home. She has a house and some insurance policies. There are 4 other siblings do i have to get their permission to sell the house. Even though i am the POA. My mother has dementia that's why she is in the nursing home.

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This must be a real nice nursing home. To be private paying. I took care of my mother for twelve years and lived with her for 8 years. We did take a $75,000.00 loan 10 years prior to her death. We had to do some work. The house was falling apart. We needed to put siding on the house and new storm doors. I change all the pipes plumbing in the house. I also put in a new furnace because I had too. The house is over a 100 years old. There is nothing like an old house. It had all the natural wood. The house had a full bath that was done 40 years ago. The kitchen was out dated. There was two pantries. One was used as a laundry room. There house had 3 bedrooms and a half bath upstairs which was ok. I did all the cosmetic work on the house. The house was on a private way. The street was terrible. The neighbors got together and had the street fixed. It cost us 4000.00 per household. We decide at that time to have the driveway done. But, we knew the house needed 80,000.00 worth of work. When my mother died we also used the money for a wake and funeral. My mother had a plot and headstone. My father died 35 years ago. The 3 daughters did our mother's wake and funeral. We agreed on everything. We had my mother surrounded in white roses. The final cost was 17,000.00. This was in 2011. We had the house assessed at the time of her death. The house was worth 214,000.00. I lived in the house for two more years. My daughter was going into high school. I told my sister I need to get out of Boston and put my daughter in a good high school. We decided to put the house up for sale. The house was a corner lot with 9000. Square feet. Tax evaluation had the house listed as 259,000.00. We knew the property need a new septic system which cost us 19,000.00. This took care of the home equity loan. We did put the house in a trust to protect ourselves. May 2013, we hit it lucky. We had a man and his daughter come back for a second walk through. He had brought a friend who also did a inspection. The man offered 230,000.00. My sister said no. Then he came back with an offer of 240,000.00.and no inspection My sister called all of us. 4 children. My sister explained, if we wait one more week. On week 5 the value would drop to 247,000.00. We all agreed to take the 240,000.00. The house had been in my family for 49 years. Both my parents died in the house. We had a lot of memories growing up. My parents in 1964 paid 10,500.00. Not a bad return. But then we got to our taxable rate and write offs. The house was worth 214,000.00 at the time of her death. The house sold for 240,000,00. Our taxable rate was $36,000.00 But, we had the septic done for 19,000.00 and we did some work on the roof over the entrance of the basement. So for the 4 children. The taxable rate was around 10,000.00. All taxes where paid. But, we consider that we did good. More money than we expected. Bottom line is you need a good real estate lawyer. Even if one hour of advise cost $500 it is the best money you can spent. We got a dumpster and everything was clean out. I move on the 49th anniversary of when my parents past papers. Paper where passed 2 days later. We have our memories in our heart. When it comes to selling property. It all depends what part of the country you live in and how real estate values are and if houses are selling. You can't do it by yourself you need a good real estate agent who knows the area and a lawyer. .
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A good nursing home will help you apply for aid from the VA and Medicaid. Be honest with them and they will help you find aid.
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You need to carefully read the POA to make sure that it is a Durable Power of Attorney which allows for all finances. Some POA's are "springing" POA's & those do not allow for significant financial anythings done.

About the house, drive about the neighborhood to see who the Realtors who do listing in the area and take a hard look at what the houses are like in you mom's area. Her house may be nice but if the surrounding area is not, it is going to affect price. Then call maybe 3 or 4 of the Realtors you see the most. Most Realtors can easily do a comparables booklet for you on what the house could be sold at and what other houses are selling for and within what time frame. Ask each of them to be frank in what needs to be done to have the house be competitive. Also ask them what their closing % is over time & also how they approach DOM - days on market. Some realtors if there is no traffic or offers will expect you to significantly reduce the price within 30 days and every 30 thereafter. They are not interested in riding out a listing for the 6 month listing agreement, they want it sold and now. Others are OK on doing no price reduction for the listing period. You need to find a Realtor who understand your constraints and their style works for your needs.

Most people fully expect a home to be walk-in ready upon sale. WIth all the shows on H & G TV and other channels everybody expects houses to be current and all fixed up. They expect granite kitchen countertops, rainfall shower heads, and other amenities. If mom's home is older and still filled with her stuff and has years of delayed maintenance and has not been renovated, you have to be realistic on what it can sell for. You may need to get in there in advance and do a massive removal of stuff and a clean out and some staging to get interest in the property. Or you are going to have to take a big price reduction. If there are any issues with the majors on the house (roof, foundation, central AC & heat, water heater), those will also reduce the asking price. Most states require that you do a check off list of the status on the house. So if you know the dishwasher has a problem you have to disclose it. If you don't, it can be a big issue when you go to act of sale and the buyer can pressure you to do a big reduction for your non-disclosure.

Realize that there are costs to placing a house on the market - the yard will have to be maintained, utilities kept on, house cleaned and looking tippy top nice &clean & smelling nice too. If you pay for all this, you need to be reimbursed for those costs from the proceeds of the sale. Make sure your siblings are in agreement on all this too. Make sure that all insurance is current and all taxes paid before you do a listing too. Good luck, it can be lots of work…..
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Lynda, read through the POA papers to see what you are allowed to do. Typically, you would have authority to sell the house. And, if you have sole POA, you wouldn't need to check with sibs. However, it would be the right thing todo to bring them into the loop, explain the liquid assets are dwindling and the house needs to be sold. They may want to revisit it (especialy if they were raised there) and you will need to empty it. So as a group, working together, you can accomplish great things.
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