Can I Sell My Parents’ House With Power of Attorney?

The question of whether one can sell their parents’ house under a Power of Attorney (POA) is not only common but laden with emotional and legal intricacies. As our parents age, circumstances such as health deterioration or dementia may necessitate significant decisions about their property and living arrangements. Understanding the scope and limitations of a Power of Attorney is crucial in navigating these decisions effectively and compassionately.

Understanding Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants an individual, often referred to as the “agent,” the authority to make decisions on behalf of another person, known as the “principal.” These decisions can cover a wide range of matters, including financial transactions and real estate dealings.

Selling a House Under POA

When it comes to selling a house under a Power of Attorney, the authority to do so depends on the specific powers granted within the document. It’s imperative that the POA explicitly includes the power to handle real estate transactions. Without this specification, the agent may be unable to legally sell the property.

Considerations for Dementia and Incapacitation

The complexity increases when a parent is unable to manage their affairs due to conditions like dementia. In such cases, having a durable Power of Attorney is essential. This type of POA remains in effect even if the principal becomes mentally incapacitated. However, if a POA is not established before the parent becomes incapacitated, the family may need to pursue guardianship or conservatorship through the courts, which can be a lengthy and more intrusive process.

Selling Before or After Death

Deciding whether to sell a parent’s house before or after their passing is a significant decision with various implications. Selling before death may provide necessary funds for care and simplify the estate before probate. However, selling after death might benefit from stepped-up tax bases or allow for the distribution of proceeds according to the will or state succession laws.

The Role of Smooth Closing in Simplifying the Process

At Smooth Closing, we understand the emotional weight and complexity involved in selling a parent’s house, especially under challenging circumstances like dementia. We specialize in providing compassionate, efficient, and hassle-free solutions for families facing these decisions. Our expertise in buying houses directly, with cash, can streamline the process, eliminating the need for repairs, listings, or lengthy waiting periods.

Key Steps in the Selling Process

  1. Verify the POA: Ensure the Power of Attorney specifically grants the authority to conduct real estate transactions.
  2. Consult Professionals: Seek advice from real estate professionals and attorneys to understand the market and legal requirements fully.
  3. Evaluate the Property: Determine the property’s value and decide whether repairs or improvements are necessary or feasible.
  4. Choose the Right Buyer: Consider whether a traditional market sale or a direct cash buyer like Smooth Closing is the best option for your circumstances.
  5. Finalize the Sale: With the right preparation and support, complete the sale, ensuring all legal and financial obligations are met.


Selling a parent’s house under a Power of Attorney is a task that, while complex, can be navigated with care, respect, and legal diligence. Whether you’re planning for future care needs, settling estate matters, or facing the challenge of selling under a POA, it’s crucial to approach the process with as much information and support as possible.

If you’re seeking a straightforward, empathetic approach to selling your parent’s house, consider reaching out to Smooth Closing. Our team is here to provide a seamless, stress-free selling experience, respecting your family’s needs and circumstances every step of the way. For assistance or to discuss your options, call Smooth Closing at (512) 368-9979 today.

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