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Retirees get help selling home

By Judy Martel ·
Monday, December 26, 2011
Posted: 4 pm ET

Retirees planning to move into continuing care communities are getting some help selling their existing home from an unexpected ally. Retirement communities eager to attract residents have come up with a variety of solutions in the sluggish housing market, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Communities are offering home-staging services, no interest bridge loans, reduced entrance fees and even buyout programs if the home doesn't sell within a certain amount of time.

Generally, the more expensive the entrance fees to the retirement communities, the more assistance they offer, so sellers are cautioned to read the fine print before agreeing to anything.

Retirement communities have already been cutting entrance fees during the housing downturn to entice retirees. Typically those with higher entrance fees often guarantee medical coverage to residents as needed. Since the fee often comes from the sale of a home, the communities are motivated to provide sales assistance to potential residents.

Aside from home-staging recommendations and repairs to spruce up the home, assistance can also come in the form of a bridge loan to cover costs of moving into the community before the home sells. Even if offered at no interest, it is a loan, caution advisers, so think carefully about taking on any additional debt before selling your current home. Some of these loans have a limited time period before interest kicks in. Buyout offers, in which the community agrees to buy the home at market price if no buyer appears, should also be considered carefully. Make sure both parties agree to the selling price and are comfortable with the terms.

Are you planning to move to some sort of continuing care community when you retire?

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