Is it Time to Sell Your Home?Are you thinking of selling your home to move to a senior supportive environment? Or perhaps to move in with an adult son or daughter who can help with your needs as you grow older? You may be considering leaving the family home with all that it represents—the place where children were raised; the safety and security of a family unit; the physical space where your oldest and dearest memories reside. For seniors, it can signify the best years of their lives, where friends and community ties were made.
Many seniors would prefer to continue living in their own home, or aging in place. Sometimes, circumstances work against those preferences:
- Home maintenance becomes a burden
- A major life event forces considering a move
- An aging parent wants to live closer to adult children or other caretakers
- Financial concerns make it difficult to keep the home
- Support services are needed that are not available at home
Selling a Senior’s Home is DifferentMany homeowners have previously bought and sold homes. However, selling a senior’s home can be much more complicated, due to the number of unique issues and decisions—and sometimes the number of people involved. Though seniors usually make the decision to sell, it is not uncommon for adult children to help them sort through these and other issues:
- Is moving the best alternative? If so, where? Have other options been explored?
- Are close family members on board with a decision to sell?
- What is the best way to downsize a lifetime’s worth of possessions and family heirlooms?
- What are the tax-related implications of a sale?
- What effects might a sale have on future income?
A real estate professional who has experience in senior’s issues, and who can put you in contact with other similarly-trained professional advisors, can be an invaluable resource at this time. You can count on a Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) to help guide you through the process and the special considerations, making the transaction less stressful and more successful.
Key Steps in the ProcessThere will be a lot of ground to cover with your SRES®. Here are some of the topics you can expect to explore together:
- Housing options
- Home adaptations
- Meeting healthcare needs
- Financial considerations
- Legal considerations
- Selling your current home
A REALTOR® who chooses to become an SRES® does so because he or she enjoys interacting with seniors. Their decision to become an SRES® is rooted in a desire to help others. It means that your REALTOR® has respect for older individuals; has the ability to listen deeply and ask the right questions; knows how to communicate the old-fashioned way, with a handshake and a visit. Be prepared to sit and chat awhile. They’ll want to take time to get to know you and your family’s situation, as you’ll want to learn more about them.
What to Expect From Your SRES®
An SRES® understands that this can be a stressful time for a family. It’s hard to deal with leaving a home after spending many years in it. Perhaps the parent would actually prefer to go on living there. Your agent wants to understand the challenges you all face in this major decision. By doing so, they can present all available options, so that the outcome is one that will suit the family’s needs.
At times, the amount of information coming your way may seem overwhelming. An SRES® is there to help by tailoring meetings to a senior’s needs. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you’d like until you feel comfortable with the steps to the sales process and other potentially-complicated details. An SRES® may suggest taking breaks so you can absorb the information, and may want to break up the prelisting-process over several visits to your home.
What is an SRES®?A Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) is a REALTOR® who is uniquely qualified to assist seniors in housing sales and purchases. The SRES® designation is awarded only to REALTORS® who have additional education on how to help seniors and their families with later-in-life real estate transactions.
They also draw upon the expertise of a network of senior specialists, such as estate planners, CPAs, and eldercare lawyers, and are familiar with local community resources and services. Their mission is to help seniors and their families navigate the maze of financial, legal and emotional issues that accompany the sale of the home.
What Qualities Make an SRES® Different?
- Has knowledge, experience and compassion in dealing with senior issues.
- Can suggest housing alternatives, including ones that may allow an aging parent to remain in the home instead of selling it.
- Takes a no-pressure approach to the transaction and has a strong service orientation.
- Will take the time needed to make a client feel comfortable with the complex selling process.
- Understands the emotional demands a sale can make on a senior, and tries to minimize them.
- Tailors the marketing of a home to the needs of an older client.
- Can interact easily with all generations, including seniors, adult children and caretakers.
- Is knowledgeable about local senior housing options and elder support services.
- Has a wide network of other senior focused professionals who can assist in tax counseling, financial and estate planning, and other aspects of the sale and move.
Source: www.sres.org • Seniors Real Estate Specialist