Selling a property

Hi I would welcome some advice, I am thinking of selling mums property now she is in residential care. A family member has asked about buying the place but would want a very good deal in terms of paying as little as possible. As power of attorney I am sure I would be expected to get the best price to pay the care home, am I right? I will be seeking legal advice on this soon,

Thanks Karen

Aha, the helicopter vultures ah gathering! Wanting to feast on your mum’s estate before the poor soul is even dead…

OK, first off, get an estate agent (Do NOT mention the relative keen to buy!) to come and do an informal valuation of the house. They should do this for free. They should give you a price that is ‘this is what we will put it on the market for’, and one that is a ‘this is what I think you will achieve’.

Ask the agent how long it will take to sell. Brexit is really screwing up house sales at the moment!

Also, check on the property websites (Right move, etc etc) for what similar properties to your mum are going at.

Finally, if you want, you could pay a surveyor to give you as accurate a valuation as he possibly can. (Remmber, this is what purchasers do when they have a survey done - part of what the surveyor does is to value the property to see if you are overpaying etc).

This will give you a more realistic idea of the price your mum is likely to get from the sale. You can compare with the vulture’s offer.

You should also factor in the COST of selling through an estate agent - they usually charge 1.5% of the achieved price, but this may vary. If you sell ‘privately’ this cost won’t be there. (However, of course, there will still be the cost of conveyancing as the seller) (do NOT sell without a lawyer overseeing the transaction - not when you are dealing with a vulture!!!)

However, as well as price the second factor is time. If your mum needs to sell up fast, to free up funds for the care home fees, then that has to be taken into consideration. Selling through an estate agent is highly uncertain until the contract is signed (see Brexit effect above).

All that said, in principle, if the vulture wants to buy your mum’s property, they can damn well do so at the market rate. Why let them ‘steal’ from your mum?

Don’t be bullied or harassed in this! As you say, you have a LEGAL ‘duty of care’ as PoA to ensure your mum’s interests are paramount, or you could open yourself to charges of ‘embezzlement’ or whatever. Be cautious!

"A family member has asked about buying the place but would want a very good deal in terms of paying as little as possible. "

Talk about cheek! Have they told you they’ll kindly take it off your hands for a fiver as well!!!

My immediate reaction was … deprivation of assets ?

AGE UK …one of the better bibles out there :

Deprivation of Assets | Age UK

Thanks everyone, this is what I thought really, I will confirm with the solicitor. Obviously it is mums and she deserves to obtain the best price possible. Families, never a dull moment!!!


My younger brother and I are no longer on speaking terms. After mum moved into residential care, he said he’d buy the property. I waited months, and finally he said he couldn’t raise the money until his partner sold her house, but didn’t offer to pay her £1,000 a week fees in the meantime.
Definitely ask an estate agent to view and suggest a price. The agent we used for mum’s house insisted that it was completely empty before viewing commenced. mum was a hoarder, it took a year. You need to think how quickly you could empty it, and it takes far, far longer than you can imagine!

Just a thought, but if the reason the family member wants to pay bottom dollar is that they can’t actually AFFORD the market price (but would be willing to pay it if they could, ie, they are not out to get a ‘bargain’ for themselves!), the one possibility is that your mum sells them a SHARE of the house for what they CAN afford.

eg, supposing the house is worth £400k, (the ‘achieved price’), but the relative can only afford to pay £300k, then they could buy what percentage that is of the £400 and so only buy 75% of the house.

They could, then, either leave it that they own 75% only, or, over time, pay off the rest on a monthly basis, until they’ve acquired all the equity

Obviously, all this has to go into a SOLID contract, drawn up by a solicitor, with proper conveyancing etc etc etc.

Karen, do you have your own home? How old are you?

Yes, key question. If you DON’T own a place of your own at all, and only rent, and you are 60, looking after your mum, from what I’ve read here on the forum it should mean she should NOT have to sell her house (ie, if you are living in it!) to pay for residential care.

Hi, yes I have my own place so mums will have to be sold to pay for her care, I spoke to a solicitor about this and have to get it on the market to get the best price.

Thanks everyone for your support


Honestly, I understand your concern is really a very nervous and complicated process.

I am locking this thread as it is an old one.

Melly1 Moderator