Moving an Aging Parent from Long Distance – Part II


by Joy Loverde

Mom sounds exhausted over the phone and we haven’t even begun the moving process yet. The thought of what lies ahead is causing her stress and anguish. She assures me that this is a long-distance move that is wanted and needed. The problem, Mom explains, lies with her husband, Bill who is irritable and short-tempered by nature. Mom keeps saying she has to walk on eggshells and take it slow with him. I understand.

What must it really be like for these two mid-eighty-year-olds to face a move of this magnitude? Physically they can no more pack a box than run a mile. Emotionally must be experiencing a deep sense of loss that this long-time dream lifestyle (living in a warm climate in a home they love) is coming to an end. I have promised myself to be sensitive to their current state of mind at all times no matter how swiftly I want this moving project over and done.

Mom sounds relieved (somewhat) when I tell her I’ll get the process started for them. And I hang up the phone knowing I’ve got plenty of work ahead of me.

After hours of research and talking to my friend, Anne at a company called Moving Station, I outlined an agenda for Mom and Bill as a way to help them begin the process of choosing a real estate agent.

Anne looked through her rolodex of brokerage firms in Mom’s neighborhood, and suggested two agencies to review. Her intimate knowledge of the relocation business including the process of selling homes has saved me several more hours of research. Whew.

My next step was to get on the Internet and find the local real estate office, and then review the profiles of all of the sales associates. I reviewed over thirty people’s profiles online, and finally narrowed it down to three people. This process alone alerted me to “seller beware.” Anybody can hang their hat on the door as a real estate agent but only a few really get the job done.

The agents I suggested to Mom and Bill met the criteria Anne told me to look for;  they are full-time real estate agents; they have achieved a high sales ranking; and they have proven sales records.  I also did a Google search on each of them to make sure they have a good (or bad) reputation.

My next blog will include questions to ask real estate agents. At this writing I have not yet heard back from Mom or Bill, and I’m crossing my fingers they are feeling a little more in control of this situation. I am also prepared to hop on a plane at any time if they need me there. That’s the ace I’ll keep in my back pocket at all times.

Stay tuned. It’s going to be a wild ride.