Empty-nesters often decide to downsize their homes after the kids leave the "nest." This is particularly true among those nearing retirement that have a large family and thus a large house with more bedrooms than they need.
Often is the case that one or more of those children are starting their own lives and families and may find themselves interested in just the type of house that Mom and Dad have. What about selling to the kid?
This can be an effective way to downsize. Of course there can be some family squabbles over this arrangement especially if their is more than one child. Those issues aside, parents can make it easier for their kids to buy the house by offering to gift them the down payment. Most lenders will allow a gift directly from parents.
Parents could even carry a note for the kid, but that is less desirable if the parents were hoping to pull out a lump sum. If parents wish to sell their house to their kid(s) then they should consult a local Realtor® about the value, what price the home might get if it were exposed to the market at large. They can use that information as a baseline for selling to the child. Obviously they have the ability to sell it to the kid cheaply if they want to, but they should still know what the market would likely bring.
Many Realtors®, myself included offer services to aid in the purchase process for a low processing and paper work handling fee. A Realtor® can make sure both the parents and child know the requirements and regulations regarding the transfer of property and help both parties through the closing process. Perhaps the savings on traditional real estate fees can offset the 'discount' to the kid or the gifted down payment.
Parents concerned with legal concerns regarding the transfer of property to children named in a will or trust or any other legal concerns should absolutely consult and attorney prior to any transfer of real property.