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Sunday October 4, 2015

Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

Specialized Services That Help People Relocate

I need help with selling my mother's house and relocating her to an apartment or condo closer to where I live. Can you recommend any businesses or services that specialize with relocation?

The process of selling a house and moving to a new home or downsizing to a condo, apartment or senior housing facility is a big job for anyone. It can be overwhelming for individuals who are moving from a long-time residence filled with decades' worth of stuff and a lifetime of memories. Fortunately, there are several specialized services available today that can help make your mom's move a lot easier.

Real Estate Specialist

To get help selling your mom's home and/or finding her a new one, you should look into hiring a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) or a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP). These are realtors that have received special training, making them better equipped to help with the financial and often complex emotional issues that can come with selling a long-time family home and relocating.

SRES and CSHP designees are educated and knowledgeable in such areas as downsizing, aging-in-place, senior housing options, reverse mortgages and ways to use pensions, 401k accounts and IRAs in real estate transactions. If you need help from other professionals, a SRES and CSHP can put you in touch with qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs and other experts.

To learn more or to locate a professional in your area, contact the SRES Council (, 800-500-4564). They offer a free "Moving On" guide that helps seniors and their family members with the decisions and transitions that come with moving. To find a CSHP near you, see

Moving Manager

To help your mom get packed up and move, you should consider hiring a "move manager." These are organizers who assist with the challenges of relocating and can minimize the stress of this major transition by doing most of the work for you.

They can help your mom pare down her belongings, decide what to take and what to dispose of, recommend charities for donations and help sell her unwanted items. They also get estimates from moving companies, oversee the movers, arrange the move date, supervise the packing and unpacking, have the house cleaned and just about anything you need related to her move.

Costs vary depending on the services and size of the move, but you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $5,000, not including the cost of movers.

To locate a move manager visit the National Association of Senior Move Managers website at or call 877-606-2766. You can also search at Caring Transitions (, the largest relocation and transition services franchised company in the U.S.

Before you hire one, be sure you ask for references from previous clients and check them. Find out how many moves they have actually managed, get a written list of services and fees and make sure they're insured and bonded.

If you can't find a move manager in your area, another option is to hire a certified professional organizer who specializes in downsizing and relocating. To find one, check the National Association of Professional Organizers, which has a searchable database on their website at

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published October 2, 2015
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