Home Buying and Selling when you’re 50+: Why you should work with a Senior Real Estate Specialist
A Senior Real Estate Specialist, or SRES, is a realtor with an innate desire to help seniors with their unique real estate challenges and is one who has received extensive training in helping home buyers and sellers over age 50. A SRES understands the decision to move can be difficult and they can serve as a resource and guide while you navigate your choices.
In short, you can count on a SRES to guide you through the process of selling or buying your home and making the transition far less stressful and much more successful.
Selling your home
There are many moving parts to consider when selling your home. For adults 50+, the complex process can be made more difficult due to physical and financial limitations. Additionally, the strong emotional attachment to a family home proves to be difficult for many; a SRES is particularly sensitive to such bonds.
Once you have decided to sell your home, selected your SRES partner, agreed on a pricing strategy, and have an overall plan in place, it’s time to begin getting your home ready for sale. The process is best approached in two main steps:
Purging & Packing: In many cases, a 50+ seller will be downsizing, so one of the larger challenges is sorting through old possessions that spark memories. Family members can help with this process, but an objective third-party specialist can be what you need.
Your SRES can put you in touch with professional services that will:
Determine what can fit into your new home
Help decide what to keep and what to leave
Manage the packing, moving, and unpacking processes.
If you decide to enlist professional help, your SRES can also connect you with a senior move specialist in your area, or you can search on your own at the National Association of Senior Move Managers website, https://www.nasmm.org/
2. Staging Your Home: How you show off your home can make the difference between closing a deal and watching one walk away.
Your SRES knows what’s most impactful and can help you get your home looking its best. Staging your home takes place before the For-Sale sign goes up and entails sprucing up the curb appeal (for a great first impression) and giving the inside a new shine.
Some common suggestions from your SRES may include:
Light landscaping (weeding, trimming, pruning, adding fresh color)
Making necessary cosmetic repairs (leaky faucets, sticky doors, painting, etc.)
Hiring a service to thoroughly clean attic-to-basement and exterior
Rearranging rooms so they appear bigger
Storing valued possessions in a safe place.
The staging process can be stressful because you’re asked to rearrange your home for the sake of someone else. Your SRES understands how emotional this can be, so they will be by your side supporting you all the way through.
Buying your new home
Buying a new home when you’re 50+ can leave you with mixed emotions. On the one hand, a new beginning presents many exciting opportunities, but on the other, such a big change can be overwhelming. A SRES is specially trained to help weigh the negative emotions with the positive ones.
Buying with Confidence: Whether you know exactly what you want or are still sorting through the array of residential options for adults 50+, your SRES will help you understand the best choices available to you. They sit down with you and your loved ones to discuss your needs, wants, and resources, and then they assist in crafting a customized plan for you. The unique experience and training of a SRES allows them to find properties, determine appropriate offers, and negotiate terms based on your specific wants and needs.
Tapping into 50+ Expertise: SRES designees have a deep well of resources that benefit you as an older buyer, including a network of home inspectors, movers, attorneys, and CPAs experienced with buyers 50+. This ensures that the entire buying process, from purchase to move in, goes as smoothly as possible
Age in Place – Adapting Your Home
Most of us would prefer to age in our current home, but as health and aging issues make more areas of the home inaccessible or pose a greater risk of injury, doing so can be difficult. We may begin to feel trapped and that selling our home is the only option. It’s not. Adapting your home to meet your aging needs is something your SRES is there to help with.
If health issues require you to move in with an adult child or another loved one, your SRES will help them make the appropriate modifications to their home as well.
Potential Risks and Difficulties: You may know where every corner, creaky floorboard, and light switch is in your home, but at some point, familiarity turns to risk and everyday tasks become harder to manage. Knowing those potential risks can help determine when adapting your home is necessary:
Certified Aging-In-Place Specialists (CAPS): Are professionals who can evaluate your home, find problem areas, and suggest the right modifications. The answer may be as simple as adding grab bars in bath areas, flattening thresholds, and installing brighter lighting. However, two-story living may require more significant renovations to overcome these challenges.
Barrier-free living means adapting your home to be fully accessible to you.
A barrier-free design is an effort to remove or replace things in your home that prevent you from using them as intended. Barrier-free design may include applying technology to your home, as well as minor or major construction to parts of the home’s interior or exterior.
Safety is the primary reason for adapting your home to be barrier-free. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for adults over 50. When you reduce the barriers, you reduce the risk.
In summary, living barrier-free allows you to stay in your current home and age in place. By making the appropriate modifications, you may not have to consider a senior housing option or go through the process of selling the place you’ve called “home” for so many years.
Universal design was adapted from the barrier-free concept, but the difference is that it constructs a home from the outset to be fully accessible for everyone, regardless of age or disabilities, with a focus on aesthetics. If adapting your home to be barrier-free is not something you wish to take on, then buying a home made with universal design is an option. Your SRES will assist you with finding the right universally designed home to meet your needs and budget.
Senior Housing Options
You may not feel like a senior, but for adults 50+ a variety of housing options known as senior housing is available. These options cover a broad spectrum from active living communities to those providing full and continuous care. Your SRES is a great asset in navigating these options as you age, paying special attention to cost, location, services, amenities, activities, and current and future care needs.