A realtor with an SRES designation has experience with seniors and family members handling the estate. Seniors Real Estate Specialists® are REALTORS® qualified to address the needs of home buyers and sellers age 50+. The SRES® Council awards the SRES® Designation to those members who have successfully completed its education program. By earning the SRES® designation, your REALTOR® has demonstrated necessary knowledge and expertise to counsel clients age 50-plus through major financial and lifestyle transitions involved in relocating, refinancing, or selling the family home.
The needs of senior home sellers and buyers and the adult children who often assist with or handle these affairs are different from those of younger customers. For those selling their long term homes, there are emotional and logistical issues piled on top of the legal and financial ones.
Planning ahead and becoming educated are the best ways to deal effectively with the inevitable. We’re all going to age and we’re all going to need help. Many people choose to put off this discussion with their parents or loved one as it is difficult to tackle. Generally the issue is forced by some kind of crisis- a fall, a broken hip- and they need to move Mom or Dad as soon as possible. Decisions are made quickly and advice is sought from unqualified sources, often resulting in loss of money and limitation of options.
The reality is that this is a complicated process because almost every scenario is unique. Mobility concerns, financial limitations and proximity of family and medical services are just a few of the obvious considerations in this process. My mother has increasing mobility issues, and she has early onset dementia. Your situation is probably different. There is no one size fits all at this stage of life.
If you are a senior or the family member of a senior, you need professionals who have been trained and have experience dealing with the special needs required by your situation. It is important that you choose a realtor who combines the necessary “real estate” knowledge with the patience not to rush you; you need someone who will treat you with respect– one who understands the special needs of seniors and truly enjoys working with them and/or their families. This is the hallmark of the Seniors Real Estate Specialists®, a designation I am proud to hold.
Further, make sure that the realtor you choose has developed a network of other professionals with the credentials to advise or handle issues related to moving and downsizing, the legal and financial needs of seniors or their heirs, aging-in-place issues, mortgages, reverse mortgages, etc.
You will likely be working closely with an agent over a period of several months, so it’s important that you choose someone with whom you feel most comfortable overall. An agent who is responsive to your needs and those of your family, who “clicks” with your personality, and who is prepared to be with you throughout each step of the home-selling process is most likely best qualified to perform this important job.
Sometimes relatively new agents have solid backgrounds in fields related to real estate, are eager for your business, and will do a good job for you. Still, you may feel more comfortable with an agent who has a proven track record of success in real estate sales. Be wary of any agent who stumbles on questions concerning ethics, motivation, and vision. You want an agent who places top priority on your satisfaction. Commission comes second.
There is no reason in this age of technology that your agent cannot respond to your needs in a timely manner. E-mail, mobile phones and faxes all enable quick and efficient answers from your representative to your questions, for updates, and for general feedback on showings, addenda and anything else involved in real estate transactions.
Finally, taking all this into consideration, trust your instinct to determine which agent is right for you. Remember, the agents you are interviewing are applying for a job, for which only the best credentials and efforts will result in your ultimate satisfaction.
For more information on the Seniors Real Estate Specialists® designation, please visit the SRES Consumer Site to learn how SRES certified real estate agents like myself can provide the expertise that you and your loved ones need.